Carboneras boats shun tuna once more

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Jon Jackson

MANY longline fishing boats working out of Carboneras are selling their tuna quotas to Cataluña fleets. Tuna’s low quayside prices and quotas imposed by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICATT) are partly responsible.
So too are the thousands of tuna that, according to Carboneras fishermen, are “reproducing like spiders” and endangering other catches like swordfish.
“It is more profitable to sell the quota than going out to fish when the permitted percentage is so low,” the Organizacion de Productores de Carboneras said.
Carboneras is authorised to catch 600 tons of red tuna but this must be split between more than 20 boats and is economically unviable.
This season most of the Carboneras boats have once again sold on their corresponding percentage to Tarragona-based Balfego, which sells tuna to Japan at a pre-negotiated price.
According to Carboneras skippers, the way that quotas are allocated is unfair, as 28 per cent of the total goes to six other Mediterranean ports. The ICATT, which sets the quotas, does not distinguish between the Carboneras boats’ traditional longline ‘palangre’ methods and the less selective Catalan driftnets, they complained.




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