Environmental groups and wildlife conservation advocates have argued for years that Atlantic bluefin tuna populations are being devastated, but it was difficult to make a hard case. Why? The very people and authorities that should've been keeping track of fishing quotas and enforcing international regulations simply – and sometimes willfully – did not, leading to ongoing overfishing and keeping black markets stocked with product that is very difficult to trace back to the source. Now a group of investigative journalists have compiled their own detailed and damning report, as well as a companion documentary, tallying the damage done.
The report, compiled by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), details the abuses carried out in the harvesting of Atlantic bluefin tuna, a marine delicacy that can grow to more than 1,000 pounds and live for up to 40 years – and fetch up to $100,000 per specimen at auction in Tokyo (Japan makes up 80 percent of the bluefin market). The report reveals an intricate web of interests ranging from government agencies down to fishermen and fish markets all willfully ignoring the rules for the sake of profit.
To quote directly from the report:
The questionable practices extend across the industry, ICIJ found, from fishing fleets and farms, through ministry offices, to distributors in Japan. Led by the French, Spanish, and Italians, joined by Turks and others, Mediterranean fishermen violated official quotas at will and engaged in an array of illegal practices: misreporting catch size, hiring banned spotter planes, catching undersized fish, and plundering tuna from North African waters where EU inspectors are refused entry. An illicit market even arose in trading quotas — when regulators finally started enforcing the rules — in which one vessel sells its nation's quota to a foreign vessel that had overfished.
These illicit practices, the report claims, extend to sea ranching, in which fish are kept in a series of underwater cages and nets, fattened up like cattle, and sold off at auction. Because ranching fish creates a problem for fisherman looking to appear under quota, they quickly figured out how to use the ranches to "launder fish," falsifying fish counts and the weights of their catches. Barring that, a robust black market arose in loosely regulated places like Turkey and Tunisia, who would take un-counted, illegal fish off ranchers' hands.
The documentary filmmaker, Television for the Environment, is affiliated – albeit loosely – with wildlife groups like the WWF and the UN's Environment Program, so there are lingering questions of objectivity regarding the doc. But the report is worth perusing if for no other reason than to remind us of the relevance of that Socratic adage (paraphrased here): "who will police the police?"
Check out a teaser for the documentary below.
I am bewildered by our dimming awareness. We swallow the crap about needing objective data and are told we need more studies. Go to a library and look at the information that is 100 years old. I discovered that the striped bass (Rock Fish) were all but fished out from the Chesapeake 110 years ago. We look back to about 50 years ago as if that was a time of a viable population. We are more stupid than ever, and getting dumber.
GROUND BREAKING NEWS: 2 OUT OF EVERY 8 COMMENTS ARE NOT SPAM!
Sir, this article is about tuna, not spam. Lets try to stay on topic please.
If bluefin can be "ranched", why don't we just do a LOT more of that?
It seems that every animal will eventually finds it's way onto a diner plate and will either be something we see in a Zoo (and then go extinct) or will end up in a farm of some sort enhanced with genes of another animal/plant to make it tastier. Either way, the time left for these (original) animals are limited.
I saw a show on Discovery a few months ago about these Aussie's fishing Blue Fins and how excited they were to catch one and sell to the Japanese markets - $100K is a lot of money for a single fish - if I had the means, maybe, I don't know... I'd fish them too.
Well, I have seen some studies on the Bluefin Tuna, and basically the methods used for calculating the population was lacking. The actual population after much scrutiny was much larger than previously thought. The method used is to fly around in a plane and count the number of schools they see and then extrapolate based on the number of square miles they wish to include in the calculation. VERY SUBJECTIVE!!! Considering you cant fly around a 5 mile area and find someone in open water I find it difficult that they can truely come up with some accurate number.
Anytime I read articles like this, I now have to look at it as if it is a lie. After the Climat hoax and carbon trading schemes...I have much pause into any claims like this. Considering the number of articles writen supposedly based on science in this publication, I find the left slat is a bit overwhelming.
Now...that being said...it won't be much longer before any of us really use these comment sections anymore...recently announced, was a man who has written a program that searches for info he deemed as not promoting his global warming beliefs, by automatically throwing in prewritten rebuttles to any denier claims on amy sites as if he or someone else was debating the post. I find it misleading and dishonest to have this type of stuff going on where the the actual deniers of debate are too lazy to take the time to respond. I also have a problem with the idea that one person has the right to decide for all of us what type of info we are getting.
Hopefully you will be able to stop this kind of stuff when it starts or there will be no one posting anymore.
briany, it sounds like you are an industry shill or just another anti-environmentalist tying to distract readers with straw man arguments.
Just to assume that "articles like this" are lies is the worst kind of non-critical thinking.
Perhaps your reading interests would be better served on creationists.com or soemthing like that.
stop eating animals. I remember recently all this fuss about genetically engineered cells. Why doesn't someone just start making bluefin tuna? They did say with these cells they could make practically everything in the world.