Mind the Gap

Nov 02, 2011 BY Administrator
An Analysis of the Mediterranean Bluefin Trade

Pew Environment Group, a sector of the Pew Charitable Trusts, recently released a new analysis titled “Mind the Gap: An Analysis of the Mediterranean Bluefin Trade,” which investigates the effectiveness of catch limits for Mediterranean bluefin tuna set by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT). The analysis determined that in 2008, the amount of eastern Atlantic bluefin tuna traded on the global market was 31 percent larger than ICCAT’s quota. In 2010, that quota exceeded the catch quota by 141 percent. View the analysis here. The Pew Environment Group partnered with Planet Vox to create a short educational video to accompany the publication of the Mind the Gap report.

The Mediterranean bluefin tuna fishery represents a lucrative trade opportunity, where fish can be sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Unreported fishing in the purse seine and ranching industries means that much more bluefin is traded on the global market, compared to what should be traded, based on ICCAT’s quotas. Should this unreported fishing continue to exist unchecked, the bluefin tuna, which plays a vital role in maintaining the balance of ocean ecosystems, will face a long, slow road to recovery.

The report offered solutions for managing bluefin trade and cracking down on fraudulent operations. “We need an electronic system that allows cross-checking and verification instantly. This should include a barcode, which will allow us to track fish from the ocean to your table,” said Pew Environment Group expert Lee Crockett in the video. Additionally, the analysis supported the use of a stereoscopic video system that would more accurately record the quantity and weight of the fish.

The “Mind the Gap” video, which features compelling footage of bluefin tuna in the wild, illegal driftnet operations, an electronic bar coding system, and interviews with key contributors to the report, provides a summative look at the problems and solutions surrounding the global Mediterranean tuna trade. Planet Vox provided video and audio editing, graphics, footage research, and media management to the project.

Learn more about Pew Environment Group’s mission here: http://www.pewenvironment.org/