A bluefin tuna farming center. (Photo: Grupo Balfego/FIS)
More than 50,000 bluefin tuna born in the Balearic Islands
Tuesday, November 09, 2010, 01:10 (GMT + 9)
The Superior Council for Scientific Investigations (CSIC) has certified the birth of between 53,000 and 75,000 juvenile bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) after the specimens were kept in cages at sea, in the usual breeding grounds on the islands.
Researchers at the Council have initiated a scientific project to see if the purse seine fishery season can be moved to begin June, which currently runs from 16 May to 14 June.
The main goal for the scientists is to improve the viability of egg laying in female bluefin tuna.
The results of this research, conducted by Ana Gordoa, from the Scientific Center for Advanced Studies of Blanes (Girona), will consolidate findings of other studies by CSIC in 2008 and 2009.
Those studies showed that the tuna were still spawning in transport crates after their capture, and the resulting larvae are "fully viable."
The tuna were initially captured by the company Balfegó Group, located in L'Ametlla de Mar.
This fishing company is expected to be supported by the Government and fishermen at the request of the beginning of the purse seine fishery, said the director general of Balfegó, Juan Serrano.
"These studies demonstrated that purse seine nets are the only usable fishing gear for bluefin tuna, in order to keep the specimens alive after their capture, so that they can continue reproducing, leaving behind a great number of larvae in the sea which allows for additional recruitment each year of hundreds of thousands of new tunas," said the businessman.
Gordoa's studies specifies that the tuna breeding season never begins before 27 May.
"In light of this scientific data, we have requested that the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) review the fishing season and move it to June. This proposal would increase the sustainability of the species, strengthen the recovery plan for bluefin tuna and ensure their future and that of fishing," he told the EFE news agency.
By Analia Murias