WWF releases bluefin traceability report


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
November 25, 2013

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has released a report this week, which the group claims shows how easy it is to hide unreported catching of fish.

The WWF released the report to coincide with an annual meeting of the International commission for the conservation of Atlantic tuna (ICCAT), and called on ICCAT to adopt new measures to close what it called a "major loophole in bluefin tuna management."

While ICCAT already has a traceability system, WWF argued that "traceability is lost when fish is mixed in cages at farms," referring to the practice of wild tuna caught in nets being transferred to farms where they are fattened before harvest. In a statement, WWF said its report claimed an analysis of the 2012 catches show "high discrepancies" between reported weight of tuna caged in the farms and reported weight at harvest.

"This situation clearly points to the fishery still being out of control," said Sergi Tudela, head of WWF's Mediterranean fisheries program.

WWF said ICCAT needs to adopt new technology for scanning fish in the cages to better quantify the number of fish — otherwise, there is too much potential for caught fish to go unreported and mixed in at the farm level.

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