November 18, 2013
Spain is leading attempts to win a significant increase in bluefin tuna landings against the advice of scientists.
Miguel Arias Cañete, the Spanish fisheries minister, is to demand an increase in the Total Allowable Catch on November 18 when the International Committee for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) meets in South Africa for a week.
His call for an increase goes against the advice of ICCAT’s scientists who have advised that the total catch of bluefin tunas in the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean should remain unchanged at 13,400 tonnes.
Research carried out in 2012 showed that bluefin tuna were, for the first time, showing signs of recovery, though scientists said the evidence was too unclear to be sure.
Mr. Arias Cañete, however, has dismissed their caution and insisted: “Recovery is a reality.” He went on to say that Spain "will not accept excuses for this” and will be asking for a 14% increase in the bluefin catch.