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- In 2008, the amount of eastern Atlantic bluefin tuna traded on the global market was 31 percent larger than ICCAT's quota.
- In 2010, the amount traded on the global market was 141 percent above the quota.
- In 2009 and 2010, total trade for both years was 70,646 metric tons (mt), double the legal quota of 35,306 mt for the two years combined.
- From 1998 to 2010, more than 490,000 mt of eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean bluefin tuna, worth an estimated €10 billion (US$13.5 billion) was traded on the global market.
- This is more than 98,000 mt above the ICCAT quotas set for that period.
What Is Causing the Gap?
- The continued and persistent underreporting and non-reporting of bluefin tuna caught and transferred into ranches across the Mediterranean Sea by industrial purse seine fishing vessels.
- The continued use of prohibited fishing gear, such as driftnets, by Italy and other Mediterranean coastal countries.
- Trade of illegal bluefin tuna by EU Mediterranean coastal member countries through the falsification of bluefin catch documents necessary for sale.
- ICCAT countries must fulfill their commitment to develop an electronic catch documentation system to more quickly and accurately identify IUU fishing and ranching operations. ICCAT implemented paper-based catch documentation in 2008 to better track Mediterranean bluefin tuna traded on the world market, but the system is rife with fraud, misinformation, and delays in validation.
- The EU and ICCAT must finally take meaningful enforcement action to address Italy's use of illegal driftnets to catch bluefin tuna. ICCAT member countries must place on their illegal-vessel lists all Italian operators that have been identified as using driftnets in violation of the commission's regulations.