Tuna Value Dropping, Industry Must Plan Ahead: Report
Tuna is holding steady as a $40 billion-a-year business, but commercial fisheries worldwide are hauling in bigger catches of dwindling value, threatening the long-term survival of some species, according to a new report.
“Fisheries caught 500,000 more metric tons in 2018 than in 2012, but were paid $500 million less in dock value,” study co-author Grantly Galland, an officer with The Pew Charitable Trusts’ international fisheries group, told AFP.
Unless governments that regulate the industry through regional management bodies adopt long-term strategies, everything from supermarket tuna to $100-a-portion sashimi could wind up in short supply, the report warned.
Crashing populations of skipjack, bigeye, yellowfin and bluefin would also jeopardise livelihoods and disrupt ecosystems in which the top-level predators play a critical role.
Only a long-term, science-based approach, the report suggests, can keep revenue high without depleting stocks past the threshold of sustainability.
The new assessment pulls together global data — total catch, along with value from dock to diner table — for the seven main species of tuna found in the world’s oceans.
Skipjack, a staple of supermarket tuna, accounted for 58 percent of all tuna landed in 2018 by weight, and 40 percent of value at the final point of sale.
The three million tonnes harvested that year was 20 percent more than in 2012.
But it ultimately only brought in only six percent more in sales.
Yellowfin — the second most important tuna species, both by total weight and revenue — saw a