- Published on Wednesday, 11 July 2012 20:40
- Written by Wietse van der Werf
A diving team of the marine conservation organisation The Black Fish has succesfully released hundreds of endangered bluefin tuna back into the Adriatic Sea from cages at a fish farm near the island of Ugljan, Croatia. The operation is marking the start of a new international campaign to highlight the lucrative trade in the bluefin tuna, a fish species heavily impacted by illegal overfishing in the Mediterranean Sea.
With this action The Black Fish is calling on members of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) to revise their rules on bluefin tuna fishing in the Adriatic Sea. Two years ago, ICCAT, which manages bluefin tuna fishing in the Mediterranean Sea, implemented new rules which included a minimum landing size of 30kg, allowing young bluefin at least one spawning cycle before they are caught.
However, they also included an exemption allowing countries like Croatia to continue catching juveline (undersized) fish in the Adriatic Sea.
Wietse van der Werf, co-founder of The Black Fish: "This exemption is a form of legalised poaching. By continuing to catch juvelines, these endangered fish simply don't stand a chance of reproducing. We are calling on ICCAT delegates to end Croatia's special treatment and work towards adequate measures to combat the bluefin tuna trade and ensure one of the largest and fastest predators of the ocean stands a chance of survival."
The Black Fish has been working on the ground in Croatia for several weeks investigating the country's controversial tuna industry. It was three days ago when crew members witnessed the slaughter of several tuna fish and decided to intervene. Members of the organisation's diving team were able to pass by security and entered the water late on Sunday night to free the fish.
For more information on the bluefin tuna campaign, please see the The Black Fish web page.