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AZTI-Tecnalia Leads Research Projects on Bluefin Tuna

11 September 2012, at 1:00am

SPAIN - The International Commission for the Conservation of the Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT) is to invest 1.5 million euros in two research projects on the bluefin tuna, which will be co-ordinated in 2012 by AZTI-Tecnalia, the technological centre specialised in marine and food research, in two different international consortia.

In the first project, the consortium co-ordinated by AZTI-Tecnalia will capture, mark and release some 11,750 tuna fish with conventional marking, 40 per cent with double markings, a minimum of 50 internal file electronic markings and 40 external pop-up type electronic markings.

This work is to be undertaken in the Bay of Biscay, the Gibraltar Straits, the Gulf of Leon and in the Central Ionic-Mediterranean Sea. By means of this project, important biological and ecological aspects are tackled and independent estimates of the abundance and mortality rates of the fish facilitated.

The second project, on the biological and genetic sampling of the bluefin tuna, will provide information on the population structure of the fish, its migrations, rates of mixing, growth and reproduction.

The funding for both projects, which have 23 bodies and research centres from various countries involved, co-ordinated by AZTI-Tecnalia, comes to 1,080,000 and 430,000 euros, respectively.

The ICCAT Research Programme on the bluefin tuna for all the Atlantic and the Mediterranean (GBYP), within which both projects are frameworked, aims to enhance the understanding of the key biological and ecological processes involved, gathering basic data and improving the models of evaluation, and providing scientific advice on the stocks situation. The Programme was initiated in 2010 and is financed by the European Union (80 per cent), Algeria, Canada, China, Croatia, Japan, Morocco, Norway, Tunis, Turkey, the United States and China Taipei.

ICCAT is the Regional Fisheries Organisation responsible for the conservation of tuna and tuna-like species in the Atlantic Ocean and adjacent seas. Highlighted amongst its missions is the gathering of fish statistics from those catching these species in the Atlantic, co-ordinating research, including stock evaluations, and undertaking the management of the stocks of the competition with scientific criteria.

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