The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) estimates that 51 percent of all the Bluefin tuna caught in the Mediterranean during 2007 was illegal and unauthorised. According to the commission, the total catch for last year was 61,000 tones – a sharp contrast to the agreed quota of 29,500 tones. The commission is now warning for a complete collapse of the tune stocks in the Mediterranean, unless drastic measures are put into action.

According to the commission, the recovery plan implemented over the past two years by tuna fishing countries has failed to improve the poor state of the tuna stocks. If the Mediterranean tuna stocks collapse, it will not only be a catastrophe from a conservational perspective; it will also have serious consequences for all those who get their livelihood from tuna fishing in the area.

Scientists have made the situation clear and now it is necessary for ICCAT and all the states involved in blue fin tuna exploitation to act in order to halt the decline and prevent a collapse“, says Xavier Pastor, the director of Oceana, an organisation that works to protect the world’s oceans. “Drastic measures should be adopted, such as closing the Mediterranean tuna fishery from June to August, the blue fin tuna’s reproductive months.”