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Bluefin tuna Mediterranean purse seine fishery. (Photo Credit: Greenpeace)

Bluefin tuna quota exhausted early

EUROPEAN UNION
Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 02:20 (GMT + 9)

The bluefin tuna purse seine season lasting from 26 May to 24 June came to an early end this year for European purse-seiners. Member States involved in this fishing activity (Spain, France, Italy, Malta and Greece) have exhausted their quotas and have therefore closed their fisheries activities: purse seiners are back to the ports.

During its last annual meeting in November 2012 the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) adopted a reinforced multi-annual recovery plan for bluefin tuna which enhances the sustainable management of the stock and introduces a number of new strict control measures: TAC have slightly been increased and as of 2013, control and traceability of bluefin tuna for both fishing and farming activities have been further reinforced.

Therefore, this year the quota monitoring is based on what fishing vessels declare as well as on what goes in and out bluefin tuna farms. The Commission services noted that new measures are being implemented and that concrete and efficient results are being recorded: Member States have taken drastic decisions to ensure a sustainable management of bluefin tuna stock. 

Farming of bluefin tuna is an increasingly important economic activity that needed to be included in control policies. In parallel with quota monitoring, it is also of great importance to control caging activities to ensure that no quota is overshot.

It is very sad that this year’s campaign was marked by human tragedy. Near Sicily at least seven migrants were killed while holding on to bluefin tuna cages towed by fishing vessels, said Maria Damanaki, European Fisheries Commissioner.

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