Mind the Gap: An Analysis of the Mediterranean Bluefin Trade

The Atlantic bluefin tuna is one of the world’s most valuable fish. Spurred by the increasing global appetite for sushi, a multibillion-dollar bluefin tuna fishing industry has developed in the Mediterranean Sea. Because of the supply chain is complex and because catch limits are not enforced effectively, fraud and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing plague the industry.

The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) sets yearly catch limits for the fishery, but these quotas are regularly exceeded. This creates a significant gap between what should be caught, based on scientists’ recommendations, and the amount actually caught and traded on the international market. In 2008, ICCAT reduced catch limits and improved compliance measures to address IUU fishing.

Mind the Gap, a new report commissioned by the Pew Environment Group, looks closely at 2009 and 2010, the two years after the measures were adopted. Did those measures close the gap and improve compliance with the quotas set by ICCAT? Has the situation improved?

Tuna Interactive Graphic

Click the image above to view an interactive feature about tuna and read the findings from this report.

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