Bluefin tuna season ends early

11 Jun 2015
The Bluefin tuna purse seine season is over for this year Photo: Wild Wonders of Europe/Zankl/WWF

The Bluefin tuna purse seine season is over for this year Photo: Wild Wonders of Europe/Zankl/WWF

The Bluefin tuna purse seine season, set to last from 26 May to 24 June 2015, has come to an early end for 99% of the European purse-seiners because they have exhausted their quotas, says the European Commission.

These EU member states have been called back to ports with just some small scale activities by small Croatian vessels continuing in the Adriatic, but these are expected to end soon.

The European Commission said that there have been no major issues during the season and that no systemic overfishing or illegal fishing activities has taken place. There has also been no report of suspicious activities received by NGOs.

A full and explicit report of possible non-compliance activities, based on a detailed examination of the data that are collected, will be prepared by the European Commission after the official closure of the fishing season.

The focus of the EC control team and the team of the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) is now focusing on the caging operations in Spain and Malta, to ensure that during these activities no Bluefin tuna quota will be overshot.

This year, for the first time since the establishment of the Bluefin tuna recovery plan in 2006, there was a marked increase in the quota that the European Union was allowed to fish (over 9,372 tonnes). This is due to the progressive recovery of the stock, which has led to an increase of 20% of the overall quota for Bluefin tuna.

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