Bluefin Tuna Trade Exceeded Legal Quotas by 141 Percent, Study Says

A new analysis commissioned by the Pew Environment Group has found that the amount of eastern Atlantic bluefin tuna traded on the global market last year
Atlantic bluefin tuna
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exceeded the official fisheries quota by 141 percent. According to the report, that gap was significantly wider than in 2008 — when the amount of bluefin tuna caught and traded exceeded quotas by 30 percent — and suggests fundamental flaws in existing mechanisms to manage fisheries of the endangered fish. Three years ago, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas adopted stricter enforcement and trade regulations on tuna caught in the Mediterranean Sea and the eastern Atlantic, including lower catch limits and a paper-based documentation system. However, the total amount of Atlantic bluefin tuna traded between 2009 and 2010 exceeded 70,600 metric tons, more than twice the legal quota of 35,306 for the two years. Saying the existing paper-based system is “rife with fraud and misinformation,” Lee Crockett of the Pew Environment Group called for an electronic documentation system by 2014, saying it would provide better information that could be more easily shared and cross-checked.