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Majolica Travel S.r.l.s.

Via Don Orione, 30 | Palermo (Sicily)

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Office (+39) 091 5077 283

Mob. ​(+39) 327 619 0641

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TUNA OVERFISHING

2022-10-13 11:33 AM

Fabio D'Addelfio

Sustainability,

TUNA OVERFISHING

In the Mediterranean, the issue of Bluefin Tuna has always worried environmental researchers who monitor its quantity, ecosystem, and reproduction.

tuna.png

Over the past 50 years, there has been an awareness that the oceans are vulnerable and their resources are depleted. Overfishing is leading to the impoverishment of the seas in terms of biodiversity and ecosystem services. It constitutes one of the most severe threats to the health of the seas and their inhabitants. The collection of marine fauna is so excessive and fast that it does not allow the various species to reproduce.

 

Let's think of the productive activity of the tuna traps of Vincenzo Florio, a Sicilian tycoon of the late 1800s, or the slaughter, an ancient method of fishing for bluefin tuna, which took place in the Mediterranean until a few years ago, today. All this is impossible to sustain. In fact, in the 90s, the catches of bluefin tuna doubled, putting their reproduction in the Mediterranean in great difficulty, bringing this species to the brink of extinction.

In the Mediterranean, the issue of Bluefin Tuna has always worried environmental researchers who monitor its quantity, ecosystem, and reproduction.

Tuna is one of the most important fish species worldwide in terms of commercialized volumes.

However, world production began to decline with the introduction of a Total Allowable Catch (TAC) by the International Commission for the Conservation of the Atlantic Tunas (Iccat).


At the beginning of the 1980s, the 16 governments bordering the Mediterranean signed the Barcelona Convention, one of the very first steps for the protection of the Mediterranean, for the protection of areas of ecological and landscape interest, and for the rational use of natural resources.

 

The first regulations approved by the EU have already established the maximum catch quotas for tuna (different by country), the minimum catch sizes (to allow the fish to grow and reproduce), and prohibit the use of any aerial means for the research and location of schools of bluefin tuna.

 

But the bluefin tuna conservation policy is not always sufficient. Numerous studies have highlighted overfishing of bluefin tuna, with consequent difficulties related to the reduced recruitment due to a few specimens reaching reproductive age, environmental problems, and shorter generational cycles, the decrease in the average reproduction size due to the systematic fishing of more prominent individuals, with the consequent instability of fish communities and alterations related to the selective removal of predators (i.e., the tuna themselves).


These scientific researches have often been ignored, and the assigned quotas have always clearly exceeded the recommended ones, with the risk of reaching the collapse of the species within the next few years. Furthermore, a severe flaw in the quota system is the lack of effective real-time monitoring of the total quantity of fish caught. This means it is impossible to close the fishing activity once the annual catch quota has been reached.

 

In conclusion, ours is meant to be an opportunity to inform about a delicate issue such as that of tuna fishing. Fortunately, today the awareness and information campaigns are doing a great job of denouncing situations like this one, which is not limited only to fishing. But, still, to the overexploitation of all the resources that the world has made available to us, and if we continue like this, they will be for a little longer.

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