Tuna season ends early

19 Jun 2013

European Member States have exhausted their bluefin tuna quotas early and purse seiners from Spain, France, Italy, Malta and Greece are back in ports.

The season was due to last from 26 May to 24 June.

During the ICCAT annual meeting held in November 2012 a number of measures were adopted to enhance the sustainable management of the stock. Total Allowable Catches have slightly been increased and as of 2013, control and traceability of bluefin tuna for both fishing and farming activities have been further reinforced.

This year the quota monitoring is based on what fishing vessels declare as well as on what goes in and out of bluefin tuna farms, and the Commission has noted efficient results are being recorded.

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, says the Commission.

However, the Commission sadly reports that near Sicily at least seven migrants were killed while holding on to bluefin tuna cages towed by fishing vessels.

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