At the Senate: Working on Improving National and International Fisheries Policiesby Mariana Ramos, Executive Directornoviembre 22nd, 2016

Of course, many species of fish that are fished for commercial purposes, including tuna, are managed internationally – through international cooperation, agreements, and organizations. Today, the Senate Commission of Fisheries and Aquaculture convened a symposium to explore more about Mexico’s role in international fisheries management with sites on the long-term conservation of global fisheries. Causa Natura was a key organizer, working alongside the Senate to ensure that there is the opportunity for open dialogue and to generate ideas for strengthening Mexico’s foreign policy on the international fisheries agenda.

I was invited to discuss the Alliance’s experience with fisheries management – both national and international – and our objectives and achievements. I was pleased to share information about our commitment to stop fishing on blue fin tuna for 5 years; our commitment to the most rigorous dolphin conservation program in the world, the Agreement on International Dolphin Conservation Program; the guidelines we follow to ensure that our fishing technique protects the marine ecosystem and minimizes bycatch; and our more recent commitment to , undergo the rigorous and transparent certification process before the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), the most internationally recognized standard for the sustainability of wild catch. The evaluation process to the MSC standard, which consists of an exhaustive review of the fishery by independent scientific auditors, has given the Alliance a clear roadmap of the conservation priorities, both national and international, which we will pursue. We also discussed how organizations can engage at the international level.

Attendees included Dr. José Sarukhán, General Coordinator of the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity; Senator Ernesto Ruffo, Chairman of the Senate Fisheries Commission; Dr. Pablo Arenas, Director of INAPESCA; Commissioner Mario Aguilar of CONAPESCA; and Dr. Guillermo Compeán, Director of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC), the organization that manages tuna in the ocean where we fish is called the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC).