Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) and federal management under the U.S. National marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has certainly been contentious. Atlantic bluefin tuna have been managed at the international level by ICCAT for the past 25 years. NMFS is the organization responsible for implementing ICCAT recommended conservation and management measures in the United States. In an attempt to halt an apparent decline in the abundance of bluefin tuna in the western Atlantic, ICCAT has recommended strict management measures including catch quotas, minimum sizes, "no-sale" provisions, and spawning area protection since 1981. ICCAT had recommended in 1993 an additional 50% reduction in the western quota for the 1995 and fishing seasons, but at their recent 1994 meeting decided to abandon the planned reduction and adopt a 10% increase. ICCAT also recommended for the first time in 20 years catch restrictions in the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean.