The Israeli Journal of Aquaculture - Bamidgeh 54(2), 2002
The Annual Dan Popper Symposium


BLUE-FIN TUNA - NEW DEVELOPMENTS:
REPORT ON THE "1st INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON THE DOMESTICATION OF BLUE-FIN TUNA THUNNUS THYNNUS THYNNUS – DOTT:
STRATEGIES FOR EUROPEAN DEVELOPMENT IN THE CONTEXT OF A GLOBAL MARKET ”


Hillel Gordin*

Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research, National Center for Mariculture, P.O.Box 1212, Eilat 88112, Israel

Abstract

It took six long years to conceive, advocate, plan and run the first DOTT meeting, which was held in Cartagena, Spain, on February 3-8, 2002. The meeting was funded mainly by the EU Commission (~90,000 Euros) and by a grant given by the Marine Policy Center, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. There were over 200 participants from some 25 countries representing places and interests relevant to blue-fin tuna fishing and aquaculture. There were some fifty presentations covering issues such as the state of wild tuna populations and fishing pressures, fishermen’s views on the emerging blue-fin tuna farming, environmental aspects of blue-fin tuna farming, views of the EU and ICCAT on blue-fin tuna farming and the problems and vision of the Spanish Blue-Fin Tuna Farmers Association. There was a preliminary report on the socio-economic aspects of the blue-fin tuna farming industry. At the end of the first day, there was a panel discussion on the administrative, regulative and R&D requirements for the development of a sound and sustainable farming industry and a set of resolutions was proposed.

The second day was devoted to the biology of the blue-fin tuna with emphasis on identifying the gaps in knowledge that would hinder the domestication of the blue-fin tuna. Speakers from throughout the world (Australia, Japan, USA, Europe) presented talks on the basic biology and straddling nature of the blue-fin tuna, its reproductive cycle and control, larvae and juvenile rearing and mass production, nutrition and feeding, handling and manipulation, growout techniques and environmental impact. At the end of the day, a panel of representatives from the above disciplines gave their views about the subjects that R&D efforts should concentrate on. The conference heard from nine national representatives about their experience in establishing blue-fin tun farming (all based on capture of adult fish at sea and fattening them for the Japanese market).

Resolutions called for an international effort, led by the EU, to domesticate the blue-fin tuna for the sake of establishing a sustainable farming industry and methods for restocking blue-fin tuna populations in nature. It also called for the establishment of a virtual blue-fin tuna R&D center which will include physical land-based facilities and enable careful scientific experimental work. The EU granted the first R&D funding for studying reproduction control of the blue-fin tuna to a consortium of nine partners (eight European partners and NCM-IOLR in Eilat).The project is scheduled to start work at the end of 2002.

*E-mail: gordin@agri.huji.ac.il

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