Illegal Catches of Bluefin Tuna

Between 1998 and 2007, an estimated $4 Billion worth of bluefin tuna was illegally fished around the world. One out of every three bluefin tuna caught was illegally fished.

Through the use of illegal and unregulated fishing activities  fisheries are able to increase the total catch of bluefin tuna each year by 30 percent. This has caused the total stock to be at 15 percent of pre-industrial levels.

In the waters of the Eastern Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, up to half of the bluefin tuna that was caught is unregulated. Over the course of 20 years, underreporting and unregulated fishing in Japan lead to an estimated $6 Billion worth of bluefin tuna to have been caught.

Source: Marina Walker Guevara and Kate Willson and Marcos Garcia Rey, “OVERVIEW: The Black Market in Bluefin,” Center for Public Integrity, November 7, 2010.

Source: Richard Black, “‘Last chance’ for tuna authority,” BBC News, November 9, 2009.