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2014 Meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) Concludes

November 19, 2014

At the ICCAT annual meeting held November 10-17, 2014 
in Genoa, Italy. 

2014 ICCAT Meeting Summary
U.S. Opening Statement to 19th Special Meeting of ICCAT
Q&A on the 2014 Bluefin Tuna Assessment
The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) 
ICCAT Scientific Committee Elects New Chair
Highlights of the 2013 ICCAT Meeting
Meet the U.S. Commercial Commissioner for ICCAT

Fins Attached Proposal

ICCAT banned the practice of shark finning in 2004. A new proposal would require fishermen to land all sharks caught in ICCAT fisheries with their fins remaining naturally attached to the carcasses. (Under current ICCAT rules, shark fins and carcasses may be separated on the vessel as long as they maintain a 5% ratio of fins-to-carcasses on board.) A fins-attached requirement would strengthen enforcement to ensure that finning is not occurring. 

It would also improve species-specific data collection, as sharks can be difficult to identify at the species level after fins have been removed. Collection of accurate data on catches of different shark species is key to supporting stock assessments that form the basis of management decisions. Many countries, including the United States, already require fins-attached in their domestic fisheries.  

For these reasons, the United States and its co-sponsors (including Belize, Brazil, the European Union, Panama, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Trinidad, Tobago, Guatemala and South Africa)are urging ICCAT to adopt this important conservation measure at its 2014 Annual Meeting.  


The 19th Special Session of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) ended on November 17, 2014, with some of the U.S. goals approved. 

Learn more about the recent meeting and read our ICCAT meeting summary.


At ICCAT, one of many Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs), the United States and 48 other members come together to discuss and develop international fisheries management measures for highly migratory species including tunas, swordfish and other billfish, and sharks.

The United States is committed to sustainable fisheries management. In our domestic fisheries we have made very significant advances on ending overfishing and rebuilding stocks. It is important to do the same with respect to international fisheries, but we cannot do it alone. The species managed by ICCAT are highly-migratory – which means they can swim long distances and cross international boundaries. For this reason, successful fisheries management can only be achieved through international cooperation.