Swordfish: Overview


Feluche. Artisanal fishermen as watchmen for the Mediterranean swordfish from Oceana on Vimeo.

After many years Mediterranean swordfish stock is still experiencing an overfishing situation while the management measures put in place so far reveal to be not yet adequate to achieve the Convention objectives of managing the stock at/above MSY.

The Mediterranean swordfish stock remains still poorly known and the available data fragmented. This situation also reflects in a lack of proper sign of stock recovery. In the meantime, open management issues need to be addressed urgently in order to identify the actual fishing effort on the Mediterranean stock: i) stock boundaries; ii) active vessels; iv) by-catch of juveniles. Moreover, some ICCAT Contracting Parties could be involved in swordfish fishery – such as Monaco, Egypt, Lebanon, Israel, and Slovenia – but are not reporting their catches to ICCAT.

A proper long-term management plan, based on Total Allowable Catches (TACs), for the Mediterranean swordfish is now essential to guarantee the stock to rebuild. This should be a top priority for the ICCAT Contracting Parties (CPCs) in order to fulfil the Convention objectives.

Oceana strongly calls for the establishment a recovery management plan for the Mediterranean swordfish.