O pico do atum
Dane Klinger e Kimiko Narita escrevem na Foreign Policy sobro o “pico do atum”. Segundo o International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), o mundo já ultrapassou o pico do atum e esta espécie — devido à pesca ilegal e sobrepesca — está ameaçada. Um país apenas é responsável por 80 por cento do consumo de atum, o Japão:
[…] Scientists estimate that because of overfishing, the tuna populations in the Gulf of Mexico and Mediterranean have shrunk to less than 10 percent and 15 percent, respectively, of their pre-fishing size.
[…] Under ICCAT regulations, fishery managers are supposed to set catch quotas based on the recommendations of scientists. Instead, managers have consistently disregarded internal expert recommendations. For the past 10 years, ICCAT has set quotas that have exceeded scientific recommendations, often by more than double. Managers have also refused scientific advice to suspend fishing in the Mediterranean during the full May-to-July spawning season, meaning that tuna are often caught before they can reproduce and help sustain the population. Further, though member states agree to implement ICCAT regulations, governments often fail to crack down on overzealous fishermen at home.
In recent years, ICCAT scientists estimate that more than half of bluefin catches in the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean have been illegal, meaning that fishing nations failed to report or underreported catches.In 2007, for example, ICCAT scientists recommended that catches should be no greater than 15,000 metric tons. ICCAT fishery managers, however, set a quota of 29,500 metric tons. And in the end, ICCAT scientists estimated actual catches at about 61,000 metric tons, more than four times higher than the recommended limit.
[…] Is there any hope? Yes. Because 80 percent of the market for bluefin tuna is concentrated in a single country, Japan, an international trade ban would have dramatic impacts, effectively stopping the race for fish and eliminating the incentive for illegal fishing. […]