|02-03-2010 10:07 AM|
Tagging the tigers of the sea - bluefin tuna
The scale of illegal fishing is staggering. In 2007, the official tuna catch in the Mediterranean was 23,154 tonnes. But the organisation that manages the fishery, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), estimates the true figure was more than twice that at close to 47,500 tonnes. That is not a sustainable amount. WWF claims that over the past 10 years, the average size of a tuna caught in the Mediterranean has almost halved, from 125 kilograms to about 65 kg - a sure sign of overfishing. At present rates of exploitation, WWF estimates bluefin will be commercially extinct within three years, meaning that the population is so small that it is no longer worth trying to catch fish.