Tag Archives: Bluefin tuna fishery

Powerless spectators to the hungry tuna ranchers: the demise of artisanal fishermen

Artisanal fishermen in Malta have become ‘powerless spectators’ to the way the Bluefin tuna fishery industry has been taken over by the large purse seiners and foreign interests in tuna ranching. A long-standing tradition of small-scale fishers that existed since the 1700s, which used hook-and-line methods baited with mackerel, has now given way to the tuna giants, intensive technology and their tuna fattening ranches, commanding prices that can only force small fishers out of business. But this rapid transformation into industrialised fishing was also carried out with the direct blessing of the government in 2001, and since then, the tuna ranching industry has suffocated artisanal fishers. In a field study carried out by the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology at the University of Kent, social scientists met with Maltese fishermen whose livelihoods were irrevocably changed by the advent of industrialised tuna fishing.   Read the story here 11:43