The Bluefin Tuna: save the Mediterranean bluefin tuna from ecological extinction

The Bluefin Tuna: save the Mediterranean bluefin tuna from ecological extinction

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 :

Conservation of endangered species

Branch :


Location :

Mediterranean Basin and the East Atlantic Ocean

Project sponsor(s) :

WWF International


Phase I: 2008 - 2010

The Mediterranean bluefin tuna is in danger of extinction. The quantity of fish caught is three times greater than the level needed to stop the decline and enable the stock to begin replenishing. There is a serious shortage of scientific data available for improving the bluefin tuna management, particularly on the size and structure of the populations and their migratory behavior.

The goal of the project is:

- to develop fishing techniques and responsible consumer habits and establish a label for the Japanese and European markets

- to co-operate with national governments and international organisations to ensure the establishment of a high seas bluefin tuna sanctuary to save one of the last spawning beds

- to implement a positive campaign geared towards ICCAR (International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas) members for compliance with the bluefin tuna fishing quotas to encourage them to allocate 50% of their national quotas to conservation

Phase II: 2011 - 2013

Continuation of activities conducted during Phase I, with use of DNA to check the efficiency of the labelling technique and the legality of Japanese stocks in particular. Scientific research and the tagging of tuna are to be continued until the end of 2013.

Phase III: 2014 - 2016

This project is the continuation of the first two phases which covered the period 2008-2013. 2014 and 2015 should guarantee the recovery of the species. As more reliable scientific assessments are scheduled for this two-year period, in addition to a review of adopted management measures, sustainable fishing activities for the bluefin tuna should follow.