The European Commission (EC) is working to ensure that bluefin aquaculture farms abide by the EU rules. Last week, the commission announced that it has decided to send a “reasoned opinion” to Croatia for its failure to comply with EU rules to ensure effective monitoring, control, and inspection system for its bluefin farms.
The commission pointed out that it had sent a letter of formal notice to Croatia in February 2022 identifying shortcomings in monitoring the transfer and caging operations on the farms. “Moreover, it failed to ensure that all relevant data are cross-checked, to investigate potential non-compliance cases, and to take administrative or criminal measures against those responsible for infringing EU law,” read the EC statement. The Croatian government has two months to respond to the “reasoned opinion”. If the country does not provide an explanation, the Commission may refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union.
The Mexican government recently announced the allowable catch volume of bluefin for its fleet for 2023 and 2024, applicable from September 25. The Secretariat of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER) reported that, following the IATTC recommendations, 7,307 tons of bluefin can be caught in its waters during these two years and the IATTC convention area. But the annual catch may not exceed 4,068 tons, which is an increase of 244 tons compared to 2022.
SADER highlighted that its bluefin fishing is of economic importance due to the domestic consumption of the fish and the several jobs that are generated from this sector. It also stated the government collaborates with the navy to ensure strict monitoring of the fishing vessels.
Five crew members were rescued Sunday after a marlin caused a leak in their tuna boat 30 miles (48 km) off the coast of Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands. The predator was likely fishing for bluefin. Members of the NGO Lanzarote Emergencies were alerted about the accident and rushed to the scene to help the crew who installed two bilge pumps to avoid further mishaps. The NGO experts decided it was best to keep the engines running and sail to the nearest port.
Meanwhile, the authorities at the port of La Tiñosa (also home to the boat) were notified so that they could make the necessary preparations for the arrival. According to local news sites, once in port, 13 tons of water were emptied from the bait banks. There have been several incidents of sharks and killer whales attacking tuna fishing vessels, but those involving marlins are rare.