apr 25 2008

Stop bluefin tuna fishing – clear voice from Norway to ICCAT

Published by at 4:59 pm under Fish and fishing

The Norwegian senior scientist Leif Nøttestad had a clear recommendation to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) during a World Symposium on Atlantic bluefin tuna in Santander, Spain this week. The situation for the Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) is critical.

In his presentation Dr. Nøttestad, who is the scientific representative from Norway in ICCAT, recommended three actions: Ban tuna fishing, ban tuna fishing and ban tuna fishing. The main reason for this clear statement is that the bluefin tuna fishing in the Mediterranean Sea is totally out of control. There is a huge over-capacity in the fleet with more than 1000 vessels targeting this extremely valuable fish species only in the Mediterranean Sea. The recommended maximum quota of 15000 tons set by the scientific body (SCRS) of ICCAT in 2006 was not even considered as an option for a future effective rebuilding plan on Atlantic bluefin tuna.

ICCAT meating Santander 2008

(Dr. Leif Nøttestad at the Institute of Marine Research in Bergen, Norway being interviewed at the world symposium on Atlantic bluefin tuna in Santander this week by Spanish television about the critical situation on the eastern Atlantic bluefin tuna stock.)

All scientific information about the Atlantic bluefin tuna points in a very negative direction, and clear action is critically needed for saving the bluefin tuna stock for a total fisheries collapse and a possible population collapse. For these serious reasons Norway decided to ban fishing on bluefin tuna in its own waters in 2007. The Norwegian quota is put aside for conservation purposes, until the critical situation has improved considerable. Based on the history of several other valuable fish species including the Norwegian spring-spawning herring (Clupea harengus) collapse in the late 1960’s, the only medicine that has worked properly was to ban fishing until the population had sufficiently recovered before any fishing could be re-opened in a sustainable manner.

Bluefin tuna caught in NorwayPhotos: afishblog.com (upper) and Arne Saltskår

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Stop bluefin tuna fishing – clear voice from Norway to ICCAT”

  1. jeffon 07 mai 2008 at 3:03 pm

    Any ideas on what will be sustainable for the human race? I don’t have any answers but with the world population only getting bigger and not smaller it seems to me that food supplies are going to to keep getting tighter.
    Although with countries like Norway doing their part there is hope yet..

  2. Kathrynon 02 jun 2012 at 9:08 pm

    The elephant in the room is Japan. The Japanese consume 90% of the tuna caught. They are the ones willing to pay the big money and create a black market for the over fishing of the tuna. Mitsubishi has a new fleet and bears ultimate responsibility for tuna depopulation. It is estimated they have over a 5 year supply of tuna in their freezers already. These are tuna that could be repopulating. Mitsubishi has horded these for profit only and don’t care about extinction of the tuna species. This pathological indifference to the future of the tuna is deeply ingrained in their culture… They will not stop until they destroy all tuna in the ocean.