Bluefin tuna catch. (Photo: AZTI)
‘Amazing bluefin tuna recovery' detected
Friday, May 30, 2014, 01:20 (GMT + 9)
The General Secretariat of Fisheries of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (MAGRAMA) claims to have found a spectacular recovery of bluefin tuna in 2014 fishing season.
And it stresses that, just eight years after the implementation of the Recovery Plan for Bluefin Tuna in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) also confirms that recovery.
This plan implied a reduction of more than 50 per cent of the available quota levels in 2010, large fishery control efforts and hard sacrifice from the fishery fleet engaged in its capture.
According to the Ministry, the fruits of the bluefin tuna plan have begun to be seen since 2012.
Now, it is expected that these good results convince scientists and the European Commission (EC) of the possibility of increasing the fishing quota.
The available data show that in March the boats based in the Canary Islands caught their quota in 36 hours.
Furhtermore, the main fleet segments in terms of quota, purse seine fleet and traps (almadrabas) -- which this year have accumulated nearly 92 per cent of the Spanish quota--, have already caught their available quotas in record time.
In the case of traps, bluefin tuna fishing began on 29 April and in less than a month they had captured almost all of their quota.
As for the purse seine fishery, the six authorized Spanish vessels exhausted their quota for bluefin tuna in less than 24 hours, an unprecedented event. Overall, they captured nearly 2,300 tonnes in one day, three times what they had fished in 2011 (800 tonnes) for more than three weeks, MAGRAMA reported.
The General Secretariat of Fisheries was pleased about the spectacular recovery experienced by bluefin tuna in such a short period and about the proper development of the 2014 survey.
"According to the Spanish government, there are no possible doubts or uncertainties to stop noting the recovery of the stock and it is not worthwhile to look for excuses to postpone brave decisions on bluefin tuna quota levels for next year, which should be consistent with the record levels of the species biomass," stressed MAGRAMA in a statement.
- Legislation change allows Canary fleet to return to bluefin tuna fishery
By Analia Murias