Fisheries

A smooth bluefin tuna fishing campaign in 2016

A smooth bluefin tuna fishing campaign in 2016

A smooth bluefin tuna fishing campaign in 2016

27/06/2016

The bluefin tuna fishing season in the Western and Central Mediterranean Sea and in the Adriatic Sea was open from 26 May to 24 June for purse seiners. Thanks to the implementation of an international recovery plan and to the efforts made by fishermen, catch limits for this stock could again be increased this year (the EU quota is just over 11200t in 2016, compared to 7938 t two years ago).

While benefiting from this increase in fishing limits, the majority of the European vessels had fished to quota in early June, and were called back to port by their national authorities. Only in the Adriatic did fishing activities by Croatian small-scale vessels continue until the end date of the campaign.

The European Commission is pleased to report that the campaign ran smoothly and that inspections on European vessels did not reveal any systemic overfishing or illegal fishing. The Commission is equally pleased to confirm that the European purse seiner fleet is now using an electronic catch documentation system for Bluefin tuna developed by ICCAT (the Bluefin Catch Document or eBCD). The same tool will be used for all caging operations in European farms and for all fishing gears as of 1 July 2016, thus allowing for full catch traceability.

The European Commission’s control team - together with the team of the European Fisheries Control Agency and in close co-operation with the competent national authorities - is now monitoring that caging operations in Spain, Malta and Croatia are performed according to ICCAT standards.