Bluefin tuna has been overfished for decades and could disappear from European waters, taking the EU's credibility on fisheries with it.
The European Union's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) will be judged by what happens to bluefin tuna. The CFP's credibility will be badly damaged if the silvery-grey fish disappears from the waters of the Atlantic and Mediterranean.
Scientists fear that bluefin tuna, having been overfished for decades, is at risk of disappearing for good. “Collapse could be a real possibility in the foreseeable future,” said a report last year by scientists for the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, the international body that manages the fish. The only thing protecting the fish in European waters is the EU's inspection and control regime, the teams of EU inspectors who check that fishing fleets are sticking to their quotas. The missions are more active than ever before, but not everyone thinks that they are enough to stave off collapse.