Bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean sea : stock management, market supply and consumer behaviour

Bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean sea : stock management, market supply and consumer behaviour

Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
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Dates / Project duration

January 2014 - December 2016 / 3 years

Field of action :

Development of marine protected areas

Branch :


Location :

East of the Atlantic ocean and the Mediterranean bassin

Project sponsor(s) :

WWF – World Wild Fund for Nature



If the 2017 ICCAT stock assessment confirms that eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean bluefin tuna stocks are close to or at the Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY), the fishery would need to be transitioned from a recovery to a management plan to secure a long term adequate management of the resource. In this context, our policy engagement ensures:

  1.  That no increase or re-distribution of the quota is set until the stock is scientifically assessed and confirmed at MSY level
  2. A fairer allocation of fishing rights among different fisheries sectors, along with the development of a new regulatory framework to counter IUU fishing by the recreational sector.

Once the stocks is at MSY, it keys to look into the bluefin tuna supply chain. 

Through this project, WWF proposes to work both with the bluefin tuna industry (incl. bluefin tuna farming which accounts for more than 90% of caught tuna in the Mediterranean). WWF intends to partner with key organizations (such as MSC) to drive selected local Mediterranean fisheries and retailers through the MSC certification process to promote full transparency, traceability and quality of bluefin tuna products (in targeted European and Japanese markets).

Through market analysis and traceability assessment, WWF develops solutions that address any loophole and traceability issues for the value chain of targeted supply companies. Once sustainability, full legality and transparency are achieved, WWF intends to address and influence consumers’ choice and private sector players to induce market shift.