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Rampant Illegal Fishing of Bluefin Tuna

November 3, 2011
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I’ve heard talk about the early 2000s for bluefin.  Most policy-makers would agree that illegal fishing was a big problem, but that it had fallen due to increased scrutiny by ICCAT member states.  Now it looks like this was just a bunch of bull.

A new analysis shows that illegal fishing of bluefin tuna has skyrocketed in the two years since ICCAT greatly reduced catch quotas and strengthened its enforcement measures.  In 2009, trade volumes were 175% of permitted quota.  In 2010, 241% of the permitted quota.

And you know what is even crazier?  These are conservative estimates as the methodology excluded black market bluefin as well as bluefin that has been mislabelled as other tuna (likely to avoid making such overfishing even more obvious).

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