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Posted Mon Nov 8 2010: from Huffington Post:
Bluefin Tuna Black Market: How A Runaway Fishing Industry Looted The Seas
The rapid demise of Eastern Atlantic bluefin tuna, the source of prized sushi around the world, is due to a $4 billion black market and a decade of rampant fraud and lack of official oversight, according to Looting the Seas, a new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. As regulators gather in Paris this month to decide the fate of the threatened bluefin, ICIJ's investigation reveals that behind plummeting stocks of the fish is a supply chain riddled with criminal misconduct and negligence, from fishing fleets to sea ranches to distributors. Each year, thousands of tons of fish have been illegally caught and traded, the seven-month investigation found. At its peak - between 1998 and 2007- this black market included more than one out of every three bluefin caught, conservatively valued at $400 million per year. "Everyone cheated," said Roger Del Ponte, a French fishing captain. "There were rules, but we didn't follow them."... The widely hunted bluefin has also become a bellwether, the latest threatened species in a feeding frenzy that has seen the disappearance of as much as 90 percent of the ocean's large fish.
[Read more stories about: economic myopia, hunting to extinction, overfishing, predator depletion]

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