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Social-Ecological Systems Meta-Analysis Database: Component

SummaryICCAT governs appropriation of Eastern and Western stocks of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna by negotiating quotas among member states and coordinating various management activities and analysis.
SubtypeFormal Governance System
SectorFisheries (Stock-specific)
Begin Date1969
ExplanationICCAT was created in 1966, but did not begin formal activities until 1969
End DateCurrent
ExplanationAlthough the snapshots end in 2007 to ensure the most accurate estimates of outcome variables, ICCAT remains the central governance system for the regulation of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna.
Governance ScaleInternational Regime
ExplanationICCAT governs use of a subset of fisheries resources (including Atlantic Bluefin Tuna) that inhabit the Atlantic Ocean. Nation states that do not border the Atlantic, such as Japan are eligible to join ICCAT and fish in international waters.
Governance System DescriptionThe ICCAT governance system was created in 1966 and began activities in 1969 to regulate use of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna. The goal of ICCAT is to cooperatively maintain fish stocks “at levels which will permit the maximum sustainable catch for food and other purposes” (Preamble, ICCAT 2007). While ICCAT does not have regulatory or enforcing powers (Korman 2011), it is entrusted with collecting and compiling statistical data, generating scientific reports, proposing management recommendations based on its findings, and creating an arena for contracting parties to meet and discuss recommendations (ICCAT 2007). The commission meets annually at its headquarters in Madrid, Spain, to discuss statistical reports and recommend management measures (Wagner 1996).
Governance Triggerslow continuous change
ExplanationDeclining catches of Eastern Atlantic Bluefin Tuna in the 1950's and early 1960's prompted interested parties to begin self-organizing to coordinate regulation of Tuna in the Atlantic Ocean.
Type Of Formal GovernanceTreaty
ExplanationICCAT was created as a convention among contracting parties.
CentralizationHighly centralized (4)
ExplanationICCAT sets regulations that apply to all contracting parties (although they can opt out of regulations). Quotas and regulations are negotiated by contracting parties, but total and national quotas are set by the international body with little room for adjustment (unless they are more strict than required) by nation states and regions.