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Professor Shui-Kai Chang of Graduate Institute of Marine Affairs reappointed as the ISC Vice-Chair

(Provided by Graduate Institute of Marine Affairs) Professor Shui-Kai Chang of the Graduate Institute of Marine Affairs, NSYSU, has recently been reappointed as the Vice-Chair of the International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean (ISC). He is also the Vice-Chair of the Pacific bluefin Tuna Working Group (PBFWG), endeavoring to promote the rebuilding of Pacific bluefin tuna resources.

The presidium of ISC includes Chair and Vice-Chair, and its members work in 5 Working Groups, each presided by its own Chair and Vice-Chair. About 60 scientists-members of the organization represent seven countries. The ISC holds a plenary session every year. This year, because of the pandemic, the 20th plenary session was held via videoconference from July 16th to 21st; the agenda included the election of a new Chair and Vice-Chair of the ISC. Professor Shui-Kai Chang was first elected Vice-Chair of ISC in 2017 and was now reelected after three years for the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd sessions. He is also the Vice-Chair of the Pacific Bluefin Tuna Working Group.

The ISC conducts research on high-value fish species amounting to 150,000 tons annually; this includes Pacific bluefin tuna, a species of global concern. Professor Chang said that the ISC is an intergovernmental scientific organization including members from seven countries fishing for tuna and tuna-like resources of the North Pacific Ocean, and was established to assess the stock status of the resources in the region and provide science-based advice for managing the resources. Professor Chang mentioned an example. The ISC assessed and concluded that the status of Pacific bluefin tuna stock was at the historical lowest level in 2014 and urged for emergency measures. The Western & Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, a regional fisheries management organization responsible for managing Pacific bluefin tuna, took the advice and adopted a set of strict management measures to reduce the catch of young fish by half. By this, the resources are now gradually restored, and the increase of catch was demonstrated in many countries of the region, including in Taiwan where the catch has almost doubled last year’s amount. This is a successful example of effective scientific research and resource management. As an official of the ISC, Professor Chang will continue his contribution to rebuilding the resources of the Pacific bluefin tuna and many other tuna and tuna-like species.

(Edited by Public Affairs Division)
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