Fishing for bluefin tuna. (Photo: Junta de Andalucía/Stock File/FIS)
Scientific study on bluefin tuna initiated
Friday, March 11, 2011, 22:40 (GMT + 9)
Between 2011 and 2012, the General Secretariat of Marine Affairs, the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) and the tuna fishery sector will carry out a scientific study on the stock structure of bluefin tuna, electronic tagging, feeding, breeding and an evaluation of the indices of abundance.
The decision was taken during a meeting in Seville between the director general of Fisheries Management of the Ministry of Environmental, Rural and Marine Affairs (MARM), Ignacio Gandarias, the director general of Fisheries of the Junta de Andalucía as well as representatives of the IEO.
The almadraba sector welcomed the initiative, as rigorous studies will provide valuable information which could be presented to organizations and European and international institutions in order to assess bluefin tuna stocks.
In February, the artisanal sector of the almadraba of Barbate, Conil, Zahara de los Atunes and Tarifa began to perform their activities, since genetic migrations occur between April and June from the Atlantic Ocean Mediterranean Sea, where they seek warmer waters in order to reproduce and spawn.
The Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Junta de Andalucía, Clara Aguilera, said that the decision taken by the Spanish Government is a firm commitment to deepen the understanding of the reality of this migratory species with high commercial and creating an important economic activity in Andalusia. "
"In Andalucia we have always claimed that any decision affecting catch quotas should be based on scientific data rather than subjective assessments, which is why a prolongation was approved by the Spanish Government, in order to endorse our standards to international organizations," she added.
She also stressed that the almadraba "can be considered as an ideal scientific observatory to monitor tuna populations, as they extended the scientific study by two years which offers a unique opportunity to continue with a historical series of inestimable scientific values to assess bluefin tuna stock, due to the characteristics of this ancient form of fishing," reports the Europa Press.
For 2011, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) established a total allowable catch (TAC) of 12,900 tonnes.
Of that total, 5756.42 tonnes belong to the European fleet and 2,411 tonnes to Spanish vessels.
Recently, the European Commission (EC) asked Spain to send the required information on bluefin tuna in order to contribute with the EU plan for fishing.
- EC demands Spanish data on bluefin tuna
By Analia Murias