Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page


3. Analysis of the tuna industry


This section, which provides a detailed analysis of the world tuna industry, represents the core of the paper. It focuses on the following points:

The findings of this section will provide a basis for estimation of the impact of the tuna market (import and prices) on tuna fishing capacity, and data for evaluation of options for management of total vessel capacity.

3.1 The tuna processing chain

The main internationally traded tuna forms are:

1. raw material for canning:

a. round or headed and gutted (H&G), frozen;
b. round or H&G, fresh or chilled (minor amounts).

2. pre-cooked loins for canning, frozen.
3. tuna for direct consumption (sashimi and other non-canning uses):

a. round, gilled and gutted (G&G) and H&G, fresh and chilled;
b. round, G&G and H&G, frozen;
c. loin and fillet form, generally frozen.

4. Canned:

a. solid pack;
b. chunks;
c. flakes (also in pouch pack);
d. grated.

5. smoked and dried.
6. oil and meal, pet food or animal feed.

(ADB/INFOFISH 1991; INFOFISH, Pers. Comm.).

Tuna flesh is extremely sensitive. The fish must be handled carefully in order to prevent "burning", e.g. bruising and damage to the flesh. If the tuna is killed under stress, the flesh undergoes chemical changes, the so-called "burning", which causes the flesh to become mushy and, for some purposes, inedible. Therefore, the best fishing method to catch tuna is line fishing (handline, pole-and-line and longline), as it generates minimal damage.

3.1.1 Tuna for direct consumption: sashimi and steaks

Sashimi is prepared from fresh raw tuna meat, or from tuna frozen at temperatures below -40°C immediately after capture. Traditional sashimi is prepared from the three species of bluefin, bigeye and yellowfin tunas. Albacore, which is caught mainly pole-and-line and longline gear, and which was formerly used only for canning, is increasingly being processed as sashimi in Japan. A different kind of sashimi, called tataki, is prepared from pole-and-line caught skipjack. Similarly, skipjack caught by using pole-and-line is consumed as sashimi other than tataki. Furthermore, billfishes (swordfish, marlins, spearfish and sailfish) are considered as tuna in Japan and processed into sashimi (Tanabe, 2000).

Tuna for the sashimi market is first judged objectively for sashimi-grade by species, time and area of catch, size, condition (fresh or frozen), core temperature and fishing method. They are also graded subjectively on the basis of visual characteristics, such as fatness, bright/clear appearance of the skin, clear and moist eyes, elastic skin, undamaged abdominal walls, colour, clarity and texture of the flesh and odour (ADB/INFOFISH 1991). According to connoisseurs, the best sashimi is processed from large individuals caught prior to the spawning season. Different sashimi cuts from different species have different market values, depending on the fat content: the greater the fat content, the greater the value of the sashimi. The best sashimi comes from toro, the peripheral layer of the fish belly, with a fat content of about 25 percent. Toro is further divided into otoro, pink, which is considered to be the prime sashimi, and chutoro, darker pink (ADB/INFOFISH 1991).

The prime sashimi-graded tuna must be:

The order of preference is, in general, Atlantic or Pacific bluefin, southern bluefin, bigeye, yellowfin and albacore. (There is some overlapping between species, however.

For example, good-quality bigeye is considered to be better than poor-quality bluefin.) The preference also differs in different regions of Japan. For example, consumers in northern Japan prefer red and fat meat, while consumers in southwestern Japan prefer less fat and pink-coloured meat. In general, however, fish with higher fat contents are sold at higher prices. As mentioned above, other elements, such as freshness, colour, odour and texture, may also be very important. Generally, the best-quality tuna are those taken by handlines and landed fresh. Purse-seine catches are not suitable for sashimi unless handled very carefully and landed fresh immediately after capture. Tuna frozen at temperatures greater than -40°C is not suitable for the sashimi market.

Sashimi is served in thin slices, dipped in soy sauce and/or wasabi (Japanese horse radish) and consumed raw (Harada, 2002). Sushi is a cylinder of rice combined with vinegar, with a slice of sashimi on the top or in the middle. Tataki is raw skipjack, broiled outside slightly and sliced, served with onion or garlic and other spices in vinegar and soy sauce.

Tunas that are not acceptable for sashimi are sold in the steak market, generally in Europe and the United States. The borderline between sashimi-quality and steak-quality tuna is variable. The vendors, often exporters, decide which market is the most profitable for a certain product, based on the quality of the tuna meat, the costs of shipping and the market prices in various countries. In general, the prices in the Japanese sashimi market are higher than those in the world steak market, but this has been changing somewhat in the recent years.

Steaks are generally prepared from bigeye, yellowfin and albacore tunas, mostly fresh but also frozen. The fish are loined and skinned prior to being cut into steaks.

3.1.2 Canning

The principal species used for canning are skipjack and yellowfin. The prices of yellowfin are higher than those of skipjack because yellowfin are often considered to be of better quality and also, because they are larger, produce less waste than do skipjack during processing. Canned yellowfin and skipjack are usually labelled as light-meat tuna, except in Japan, where skipjack cannot be legally labelled as tuna. Locally-caught bluefin, particularly in Italy are also canned as a high-quality product. The belly of the tuna, canned in olive oil and marketed as ventresca, is considered a delicacy. Albacore is marketed as white-meat tuna, which has a higher value than light-meat tuna.

Packs are also classified by the condition of the meat cut, e.g. solid pack, chunks and flake or grated tuna. Solid packs are prepared from whole tuna loins that have been cut into transverse segments, while chunk packs are prepared by cutting tuna loins into smaller pieces (Chicken of the Sea, 2002). The smallest pieces that are devoid of blood and skin are canned as flake or grated tuna.

Several steps are involved in converting fish to the canned product. When the fish (generally frozen) are unloaded from the fishing vessels or freezer vessels they are thawed in running water in thawing tanks or with sprays of water (US DOL, 2003). If the fish are whole they must be gilled, gutted and deheaded. In the past, butchering was done manually, with knives and machetes, but currently it is done with multiple automated stainless steel saws (Carril Diaz, 2002).

After cutting, the tunas are sorted by size and loaded onto trays. The trays are stacked on wheeled shelf racks and taken to the pre-cooker, or first cooker. During pre-cooking and cooling, up to 30-percent weight loss occurs, mostly by overcooking (which can be minimized by placing fish of only one size in a given cooker and varying the cooking time in accordance with the size of the fish). The pre-cooking process generally takes from 45 minutes to three hours, depending on the size and species of tuna (US DOL, 2003).

After pre-cooking and cooling, the tuna are put on conveyor belts that carry the fish to the cleaning or filleting tables. Cleaning is a completely manual process (Carril Diaz, 2002). The cleaners remove the skin and dark meat from the fish and separate the loins from the skeleton (US DOL, 2003). The dark meat scraped from the loins is used to prepare pet food (ADB/INFOFISH, 1991). The waste from the cleaning tables, together with the offal from the eviscerating tables go to the reduction plant, where the oil and water are extracted and the remainder is dried and ground to produce fish meal (ADB/INFOFISH, 1991).

The last step, canning, is a totally automated process. The first tuna-packing machine, designed in 1956, produced a maximum of 36 cans per minute. Present machines produce 300 cans per minute, and the quality of the product is better (Carril Diaz, 2002). Canned tuna is packed in oil, brine, spring water or sauce. Various flavouring and seasoning additives, including oil, salt, vegetable broth, lemon, monosodium glutamate, vinegar, hydrolysed protein and spices, are used. After the cans are sealed they are placed in a retort, where they are cooked for two to four hours, which, of course, kills any bacteria that are present. After that the cans are cooled, labelled and packed into cardboard cartons for distribution (US DOL, 2003).

Over the past 20 years, the phenomenon of loining has been expanding rapidly. When a fish is loined it is first cooked, and then the large masses of muscle on either side of the backbone are removed (ADB/INFOFISH, 1991). It is a relatively common practice to land fish in developing countries near the fishing grounds, where the loining is carried out, and then to export the frozen loins to canneries in developed countries (FIAC, pers. comm.).

The loining process (including cutting and cleaning), accounts for up to 80 percent of the labour costs in a full-scale tuna cannery (US DOL, 2003). Carrying out the loining process in developing countries and the final canning in investor countries provides employment in developing countries, reduces the costs of transportation of the fish to the canneries (because the loins weigh less than the whole fish) and reduces overall labour costs (but still provides partial protection of employment in the canneries of investor countries).

The operations required for the production of frozen loins and of canned tuna are essentially the same up to the point where the tuna is cut into loins. In a loin-producing facility, after the pre-cooking and cleaning process, the loins are packed in plastic and frozen for shipment to the canneries. In the tuna canneries, in turn, the loins are cut into pieces for solid packs or chunks and packed into the cans (US DOL, 2003).

Tuna may be packed in steel cans or in glass jars. In the United States the standard weight of tuna cans has shrunk progressively from 7 ounces (198 g) to 6 ounces (170 g) net weight (ATUNA.com data). In the EU there is no standard weight for tuna cans, but smaller cans generally contain 80 or 120 g of tuna, while larger cans generally contain 160, 185, 200, 240 or even 500 g of tuna. Cans used by restaurants, etc., usually contain 2 to 5 kg of tuna.

Tuna is also processed into other value-added products, such as tuna salad, tuna in a pouch, tuna steaks, tuna paste and tuna burgers. Tuna salads, hors d'oeuvres and paste are very popular among western consumers. In France the consumption of tuna salads and hors d'oeuvres exceeds that of canned tuna in brine or in olive oil. Albacore and yellowfin fillets in olive oil are considered as a delicacy in European markets. Tuna roe is often processed into poutargue or bottarga[52] (FAO/GLOBEFISH, 2002d).

Tuna in a pouch is a recently-developed product, which has spread from the United States to Europe. Some analysts believe that tuna in a pouch will replaced canned tuna in a few years, while others believe that, as a consequence of high investments in the tuna canning industry and of its efficiency, the alternative pouch product will remain within a limited market niche (ATUNA.com data).

According to 2002 data (NMFS, 2003), import of tuna (including albacore) in a pouch represents about 11 percent of United States' canned tuna imports in terms of quantity and 12 percent in terms of value. Import of tuna in a pouch is also equivalent to 7 percent of total imports of tuna by the United States both in terms of quantity and of value (NMFS, 2003). In 2002 Faleomavaega (2002), cited by Gillett, McCoy and Itano (2002), forecast that tuna in a pouch could grow to an 8 percent share of the United States' total tuna trade by 2005, to a 12.2 percent share by 2007 and to a 15.4 percent share by 2012.

3.1.3 Other tuna products

Dried and smoked products, called fushi in Japanese, include:

In order to prepare katsuobushi, skipjack tuna is boiled, smoked and then naturally dried. It is important that there be mould on surface to reduce the amount of fat in the flesh. A special tool is used to flake the extremely hard chunks. Katsuobushi can be purchased in Asian markets and in the specialty sections of some large supermarkets. When preparing kezuribushi, after drying, the fish is shaved into fine strands or short, slightly thicker flakes. Katsuobushi and kezuribushi are used in Japanese cuisine, either as a garnish, placed directly on top of salads or chilled tofu, or in cooked preparations such as dashi soup.

Other products include tsukudani, a product prepared from skipjack flesh, cooked in soybean sauce, sugar and other flavouring material. Shiokara is a salt-fermented product produced from the viscera, stomach or low fat meat of skipjack (ADB/INFOFISH, 1991). Dried and salted tuna (mojama) is considered a local delicacy in coastal regions of Spain.

3.2 Health and safety

The Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principle is generally applied to the tuna industry. HACCP requires that food safety controls be integrated within all processing stages, rather than applied just to the final product. Tuna-importing countries that implement HACCP in their domestic production refuse to import tuna products from countries not ensuring equivalent health and safety standards.

The most likely hazard when consuming improperly-handled scombroids (tunas and mackerels) is histamine poisoning. Histamine is produced in certain types of fish when microbes break down the amino acid histidine. Failure to promptly chill or freeze recently-caught fish accelerates the growth of micro-organisms normally present in the fish, accelerating the breakdown of histidine into histamine.

Histamine is a toxin that produces symptoms similar to an allergic reaction. It is very difficult to diagnose, in most cases being mistaken for a food allergy. When a person has an allergic reaction the body releases histamine, but when a person has scombroid poisoning he or she consumes histamine, rather than releasing it (CNN, 2001).

The symptoms of scombroid poisoning may include rashes, a metallic taste in the mouth, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, hypotension, palpitations, tingling, muscle weakness and respiratory paralysis, and sometimes death (Neogen, 1998).

Raw fish can be contaminated with faecal bacteria when gutted, and if the fish are stored at temperatures above freezing, the bacteria grow. They produce an enzyme that dissolves the tissues of the fish, resulting in the production of histamine. Cooking tuna might kill the bacteria, and even destroy the enzymes, but histamine is not affected by heat after it is produced (CNN, 2001).

Raw tuna used for sashimi is less likely to be contaminated because it is usually stored in large pieces and at freezing temperatures and sliced right before serving, making it less susceptible to warming temperatures. On the other hand, when tuna is ground to prepare tuna burgers, the friction could raise the temperature of the fish, thus promoting bacterial growth and histamine production. The easiest way to prevent this type of food poisoning is to store the fish at temperatures below 0°C. Each time the fish is handled its temperature is likely to increase; so it is essential to keep it at or below 0°C while handling it (CNN, 2001).

A different problem is represented by carbon monoxide (CO). CO is a colourless, odourless, highly-poisonous gas produced by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels such as gas, oil, coal and wood used in boilers, engines, oil burners, gas fires, water heaters, solid fuel appliances and open fires (Carbon Monoxide Kills, 2003). This gas is naturally released by fish when smoked. In a few cases, tuna used for the preparation of steaks and sashimi is artificially coloured by CO treatment. The use of CO as a colour additive in food is banned in the United States, by EU legislation (Official Journal of the European Communities, 1994) and in many nations. The health and safety risks from the use of CO per se are fairly limited, because of the high reactivity of CO in combination with fish muscle compounds, mainly haemoglobin. However, apart from the consumer deception issue (the consumer may think that the fish is fresher and of a better quality than what it really is), the most likely health and safety risk is histamine poisoning, as the bright colour could conceal poor handling and temperature abuse (FIIU, pers. comm.).

Another cause of concern possibly linked to the consumption of tuna and tuna-like species is mercury content. Mercury occurs naturally in the environment, or it can be released into the air as industrial pollution and absorbed by surface waters. Bacteria living in water convert inorganic mercury into methyl mercury, and fish absorb it through the water and by feeding on other aquatic organisms. Long-lived predators such as sharks, tilefish (Macalanthidae), swordfish and king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla) tend to accumulate the highest levels of methyl mercury.

The primary danger of methyl mercury in fish is the harmful effect it has on the development of the nervous system in unborn children and in children of less than six years of age. Therefore, in March 2001 the United States Food and Drug Administration issued a consumer advisory warning pregnant women and women of childbearing age who may become pregnant about the risk of mercury poisoning (FDA, 2001).

According to the FDA, while pregnant women and women of childbearing age who want to become pregnant should abstain from eating sharks, tilefish, swordfish and king mackerel, they may nevertheless eat 12 ounces per week (0.454 kg) of other cooked fish (FDA, 2001). Because of the chronic toxicity of methyl mercury on the cardiovascular and immune system, in June 2001 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended the following more precise and stringent monthly limits for adult consumers (70 kg body weight):

Consumption of fish with more than 1.9 ppm methyl mercury concentration levels should be avoided or limited to less than 0.5 meals per month (EPA, 2001).

The EPA's warnings should be of greatest concern to women of childbearing age who eat more than 10 g of fish a day and women of childbearing age who eat fish with high methyl mercury levels (EPA, 2001). Some states have set even more stringent protection levels. For some sectors of the population, e.g. pregnant women, nursing mothers and young children, some states have issued either "no consumption" or "restricted consumption" advisories (EPA, 2001).

Later on, the warnings of the EPA and the FDA were incorporated in a "Draft advice for women who are pregnant, or who might become pregnant, and nursing mothers, about avoiding harm to your baby or young child from mercury in fish and shellfish" (FDA and EPA, 2003). The advisory can be easily summarised into its three rules for pregnant, pregnant-to-be and nursing women:

1. "Do not eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel or tilefish because they contain high levels of mercury";

2. "Levels of mercury in other fish can vary. You can safely eat up to 12 ounces [340 g] (2 to 3 meals) of other purchased fish and shellfish a week. Mix up the types of fish and shellfish you eat and do not eat the same type of fish and shellfish more than once a week";

3. "Check local advisories about the safety of fish caught by family and friends in your local rivers and streams. If no advice is available, you can safely eat up to 6 ounces [170 g] (one meal) per week of fish you catch from local waters, but do not consume any other fish during that week".

Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), in turn, advised pregnant women and women of childbearing age to limit the consumption of shark, swordfish and fresh and frozen tuna (which contain 0.5 to 1.5 ppm methyl mercury) to no more than one meal per month[53]. For other consumers, Health Canada recommended a level of not more than one meal per week. This limit does not apply to canned tuna, which contains less than 0.5 ppm methyl mercury (Health Canada, 2001).

EU regulation 466/2001 sets the maximum level of mercury in fish, which should amount to 0.5 mg/kg wet weight as a rule and 1 mg/kg wet weight for large predators, including Scombroidei (OJ, 2001). The EU is currently establishing specific maximum levels for contaminants in food intended for infants and young children. According to the British Food Standards Agency (FSA), pregnant and breast-feeding women and women who intend to become pregnant should limit their consumption of tuna to no more than two medium-sized cans or one fresh tuna steak per week. Such groups should also avoid eating sharks, swordfish and marlins. This advice does not apply other adults or to children, but infants and children under 16 years if age are still advised to avoid eating sharks, swordfish and marlins. These three fish can have levels of mercury approximately five to seven times greater than that of canned tuna and two to four times greater than that of fresh tuna (ATUNA.com data).

There are numerous health benefits that can be derived from eating tuna. Tuna[54], like other oily fish (salmon, mackerel and swordfish) is rich in Omega-3, a polyunsaturated fat. The consumption of fish that are rich in Omega-3 is associated with a decreased risk of heart diseases, cholesterol reduction, regulation of high blood pressure, prevention of arteriosclerosis and other health benefits (ATUNA.com data). Tuna also contains minerals, such as phosphorous, which is important for the nervous system and the bones, and iodine, which is conducive to balanced growth. It also contains proteins and vitamin B12 for cell growth, and niacin, which ensures correct metabolism of fatty acids and cholesterol. Studies by the Trinity College and the Saint James' Hospital in Dublin demonstrated the link between Alzheimer's disease and low levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) a fatty acid that is easy to consume by regularly eating oily fish such as tuna (ATUNA.com data).

3.3 Animal welfare concerns: the tuna-dolphin issue[55]

The tuna-dolphin issue is reviewed by Joseph (1994) and Gosliner (1999).

Among the reasons behind the crisis of the United States' tuna industry during the 1990s the tuna-dolphin issue is generally thought to have been the most significant (although Sakagawa (1991) stated that "the down-sizing of the U.S. purse-seine fleet and the transfer of U.S. vessels to foreign flags in the 1980s occurred because of changes in the economic climate of the industry, not because of government tuna-dolphin regulations").

The United States' Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) of 1972 set dolphin protection standards for domestic fishing boats catching yellowfin tuna in the EPO. The MMPA also provided for the embargo of the products of any nation whose vessels fishing for tuna in the EPO did not meet the same standards as U.S. vessels. In April 1990, as a result of threatened boycotts of their products, the principal North American canners stopped processing tuna caught by encircling dolphins. Shortly thereafter, the United States government defined "dolphin-safe" to be tuna captured without encircling dolphins, and prohibited dolphin-unsafe tuna from being marketed in the United States. This led most of the United States tuna fleet to transfer its operations from the EPO, where dolphins and yellowfin tuna associate with one another, to the WCPO, where they do not, creating the conditions to embargo tuna imports from countries such as Mexico and Venezuela that catch tunas associated with dolphins.

The MMPA also provided for a secondary embargo to be applied to "intermediary" countries processing and canning tuna en route from an embargoed country such as Mexico to the United States, e.g. Costa Rica, Italy, Japan and Spain, and before that on France, the Netherlands Antilles and the United Kingdom. Many other countries, including Canada, Colombia, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), were also considered to be "intermediaries".

In January 1991 Mexico challenged the legality of the embargoes imposed by the United States government, and requested that a Dispute Settlement Panel be convened by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). On September 3, 1991, the Panel published its decision in favour of Mexico. It concluded that the United States could not embargo imports of tuna products from Mexico simply because Mexican regulations on the way that tuna was produced did not satisfy United States' regulations. However, the United States could apply its regulations on the quality or content of the tuna imported. This became known as a "product versus process" issue. Furthermore, GATT rules did not allow a country to take measures to force other countries to implement its domestic legislation (extra-territoriality).

The Panel's task was restricted to examining how GATT rules applied to the issue. The environmental correctness of the policy was not confronted. The Panel suggested that the United States' policy could have been made compatible with GATT rules if members had agreed on amendments or reached a decision to waive the rules especially for this issue. The Panel was also asked to judge the United States' policy of requiring tuna products to be labelled "dolphin-safe", therefore leaving it up to consumers to choose whether to buy the product. The Panel concluded that this did not violate GATT rules because it did not represent deceptive advertising on all tuna products, whether imported or domestically-produced. However, both Mexico and the United States agreed to not adopt the Panel report, so the matter was not taken to the plenary.

In 1992 the EU lodged its own complaint, which led to a second report, similar to the previous one, which was also not adopted. Subsequently, Mexico and the United States held their own bilateral consultations aimed at reaching an agreement outside GATT, which eventually led to the Agreement on the International Dolphin Conservation Program (AIDCP), which entered into force in February 1999.

The AIDCP is a legally-binding multilateral agreement for the conservation of dolphins in the EPO. The primary objective of the Agreement is to reduce dolphin mortality caused by the fishery to levels approaching zero. In tandem with approval of the Agreement, the Parties agreed to define "dolphin-safe" to include any tuna captured in the EPO in which no dolphins were killed or seriously injured. In the case of the United States, the Secretary of Commerce must make a finding that intentional encirclement of dolphins is not having a significant adverse impact on any depleted dolphin stock in the EPO before the definition of dolphin-safe could be changed.

By the end of December 2002, the Secretary of Commerce of the United States found that encircling dolphins was not having a significant adverse impact on any depleted dolphin stock in the EPO and that the definition of dolphin-safe could be changed. Such a finding would open the door for Mexico and other countries to market tuna in the United States as dolphin-safe. The AIDCP requires that observers from the AIDCP member countries to be placed on all vessels capable of catching tuna in association with dolphins to monitor whether the tuna is dolphin-safe. Should all encircled dolphins be safely rescued from the nets, the tuna could be marketed as dolphin-safe, as opposed to the previous definition of "dolphin-safe", introduced by the Earth Island Institute (EII), which would not allow the label of "dolphin-safe" to be applied to tunas caught in association with dolphins.

EII, supported by several other environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs), immediately filed a lawsuit challenging the finding by the Secretary of Commerce. In early April 2003, the Federal Court in San Francisco granted an injunction to the implementation of the new definition on the basis of:

In early May 2003 the same court ruled against the intervention of tuna companies in the case, the motivation for that decision being the fact that the interests of Mexican and Venezuelan tuna industry was not sufficient to allow them to take part in the case, and further that the Department of Commerce was already adequately representing their interests in changing the "dolphin safe" tuna label standards (ATUNA.com data).

Finally, on 9 August 2004, the Federal Court of San Francisco ordered that the findings of the Secretary of Commerce stating that the encircling of dolphins by purse seine nets was not having a significant adverse effect on the depleted dolphin stock in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean were declared "arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and contrary to law". Hence, "dolphin safe" shall continue to mean that "no tuna were caught on the trip in which such tuna were harvested using a purse seine intentionally deployed on or to encircle dolphins, and that no dolphins were killed or seriously injured during the sets in which the tuna were caught."

3.4 Global tuna trade

Unless stated otherwise, the data on weights and values in this section were obtained from FISHSTAT Plus. FISHSTAT Plus provides a series of data on world trade of whole tuna (fresh or frozen) and of world trade of canned tuna. In order to ensure consistency of analysis, this chapter will utilize FISHSTAT Plus data on international trade in the principal market species of tunas (albacore, bigeye, bluefin, skipjack and yellowfin) and of tunas nei (not elsewhere identified). Available FISHSTAT Plus data suggest that countries that provided data on tunas nei during the seventies and eighties, began to provide information on the species of the fish during the late eighties and the early nineties. At the same time, with the exception of canned albacore, FISHSTAT Plus does not identify canned tuna according to species, so data on canned tuna are generally presented as "canned tuna, nei".

All import data taken from FISHSTAT Plus are in net (product) weight. Live weight (or round weight) can be 20 to 50 percent greater than net weight.

3.4.1 General (frozen, fresh, chilled and canned)

World imports of tuna (frozen, fresh, chilled, tuna fillets, canned, dried and smoked) increased from 524 639 tonnes in 1976 to 2.4 million tonnes in 1999, declined to 2.2 million tonnes in 2000 and then increased to 2.3 million tonnes in 2001. In terms of value, imports increased from US$597 million in 1976 to US$5.5 billion in 1999, decreased slightly to US$5 billion in 2000 and then increased to US$5.2 billion in 2001. In 2001 total imports of tuna were equivalent to 9 percent of total world imports of fish commodities, in terms of both volume and value.

World imports of frozen, fresh and chilled tuna increased from 434 896 tonnes in 1976 to 1.6 million tonnes in 1998, decreased to 1.4 million tonnes in 2000 and then increased to 1.5 million tonnes in 2001 (Figure 2). In terms of value, world imports of frozen, fresh and chilled increased from US$406 million in 1976 to US$3.4 billion in 1995, decreased to US$3 billion in 2000 and 2001, but showed a slight improvement in the latter year (Figure 2).

FIGURE 2
World imports of frozen, fresh and chilled tuna*

* Including Atlantic, Pacific and southern bluefin tuna.


FIGURE 3A
World imports, by quantities, of the most important species of frozen, fresh and chilled tuna*

* Including Atlantic, Pacific and southern bluefin tuna.


FIGURE 3B
World imports, by value, of the most important species of frozen, fresh and chilled tuna

In terms of volume, the principal imported tuna commodities are frozen skipjack and frozen yellowfin, while, in terms of value, the principal imported commodities are frozen bigeye and frozen yellowfin (Figures 3 a and 3 b).

The principal importers of frozen, fresh and chilled tuna commodities are Thailand (first in terms of volume; second in terms of value), which imports mainly frozen skipjack for its canneries, and Japan (first in terms of value; second in terms of volume), which import mainly frozen bigeye for the sashimi market (Figures 4a and 4b).

Thailand's imports decreased from 496 257 tonnes in 1991, equivalent to US$888 million, to 319 190 tonnes in 1996, equivalent to US$352 million (Figures 4a and 4b), as a consequence of a crisis of the Thai tuna industry. In 2000 Thai imports reached their lowest value since 1987 (US$262 million for 359 509 tonnes), which was due mainly to a decrease in its imports of frozen skipjack.

Imports to the United States decreased from 306 629 tonnes (US$268 million) in 1978 to 68 061 tonnes (US$304 million) in 2001 (Figures 4a and 4b), due to increased use of frozen pre-cooked loins in order to reduce production costs.

The principal exporters of frozen, fresh and chilled tuna are Taiwan Province of China, Spain, France and the Republic of Korea. In 2001 exports of tuna from Taiwan Province of China totalled 437 116 tonnes, equivalent to US$1.2 billion (due to the high value of the commodities exported, e.g. high-priced bigeye for the Japanese market and high-quality yellowfin for the Japanese and European markets). Exports of tuna from Spain totalled 165 630 tonnes[56], equivalent to US$269 million, those from France 158 416 tonnes[57], equivalent to US$140 million and those from the Republic of Korea 85 365 tonnes, equivalent to US$250 million.

Exports of tuna from Australia were only 14 499 tonnes, but since they consisted mainly of the high-value fresh and chilled southern bluefin tuna, their value amounted to US$178 million. While the exports from most of these countries increased progressively over the 1976-2001 period, exports from the Republic of Korea declined considerably.

FIGURE 4A
World imports, by quantities, of frozen, fresh and chilled tuna* by the principal countries

* Including Atlantic, Pacific and southern bluefin tuna.


FIGURE 4B
World imports, by value, of frozen, fresh and chilled tuna* by the principal countries

* Including Atlantic, Pacific and southern bluefin tuna.


FIGURE 5
World imports of frozen tuna*

* Including Atlantic, Pacific and southern bluefin tuna.

International trade in frozen pre-cooked tuna loins for canning is not reported here because normally national statistics classify loins[58] under the 1604 tariff code (prepared and processed fish), and do not distinguish them from other processed and semi-processed products.

3.4.2 Frozen tuna

Imports of frozen tuna increased from 420 618 tonnes in 1976, equivalent to US$368 million, to 1.4 million tonnes in 1998, equivalent to US$2.4 billion, and then declined slightly to 1.3 million tonnes in 2001, equivalent to US$2.1 billion (Figure 5). During the nineties imports of frozen tuna remained relatively stable in terms of quantity, but decreased in terms of value as a consequence of a decline in the price of frozen raw material, mainly skipjack, for canning.

The principal frozen species of tuna traded are skipjack and yellowfin, in terms of quantity (Figure 6a), and bigeye, yellowfin and skipjack, in terms of value (Figure 6b). The bigeye are used almost entirely for the sashimi market and the skipjack and yellowfin almost entirely for the canning industry.

Imports of frozen bigeye increased from 43 347 tonnes in 1976 to 124 274 tonnes in 1998, and then declined to 119 722 tonnes in 2001 (Figure 6a). In terms of value, imports of frozen bigeye increased from US$68 million in 1976 to US$788 million in 1999, but then decreased to US$604 million in 2001 (Figure 6b).

Imports of frozen skipjack increased from 116 082 tonnes in 1976 to a peak of 669 250 tonnes in 1999, declined to 528 920 tonnes in 2000 and then increased slightly to 551 017 tonnes in 2001 (Figure 6a). In terms of value, imports of frozen skipjack increased from US$57 million in 1976 to US$859 million in 1991, declined to US$288 million in 2000 and then increased to US$426 million in 2001 (Figure 6b).

FIGURE 6A
World imports, by quantities, of the most important species of frozen tuna


FIGURE 6B
World imports, by value, of the most important species of frozen tuna


FIGURE 7A
World imports, by quantities, of frozen tuna* by the principal countries

* Including Atlantic, Pacific and southern bluefin tuna.

Frozen yellowfin imports increased from 116 125 tonnes in 1976 to 449 387 tonnes in 1994 (Figure 6a). In terms of value, frozen yellowfin imports increased from US$102 million in 1976 to US$731 million in 1993 (Figure 6b). In the years that followed, yellowfin imports remained relatively stable in terms of quantity, but declined in terms of value, reaching 412 391 tonnes in 2001, equivalent to US$510 million.

The principal importers of frozen tuna are Thailand, Japan and Spain (Figures 7a and 7b). Imports of frozen tuna (mainly skipjack) by Thailand declined sharply in terms of value during the nineties, but increased slightly in 2001 due to measures by the WTPO to reduce the oversupply of this commodity (Figure 7b). The situation is different for Spain and Japan, which import mainly higher-value species, such as yellowfin (Spain) and bigeye (Japan) (Figures 7a and 7b).

Other significant importers of frozen tuna are Côte d'Ivoire and the United States. The amounts of frozen tuna imported by the United States have decreased as a consequence of the general decline of its tuna-canning industry. Frozen albacore is currently the principal species of tuna imported by the United States. Côte d'Ivoire buys mainly frozen tuna from EU vessels, which is processed in canneries of Bolton/Saupiquet.

3.4.3 Fresh and chilled tuna

World imports of fresh and chilled tuna increased from 14 278 tonnes in 1976 (US$38 million) to 160 177 tonnes in 2001 (US$935 million), although the peak in terms of value was reached in 1995, when total imports of fresh and chilled tuna (135 634 tonnes) were worth more than US$1 billion (Figure 8). Fresh and chilled tunas are generally destined primarily for sashimi and secondarily for the steak market. Over the period analysed the values have increased more than the quantities of fish because larger portions of the imports have consisted of fish for preparation of sashimi and tuna steaks[59]. After 1995, however, import values declined (Figure 8).

FIGURE 7B
World imports, by value, of frozen tuna* by the principal countries

* Including Atlantic, Pacific and southern bluefin tuna.


FIGURE 8
World imports of fresh and chilled tuna*

* Including Atlantic, Pacific and southern bluefin tuna.


FIGURE 9A
World imports, by quantities, of the most important species of fresh and chilled tuna

Yellowfin is the principal species of imported fresh and chilled tuna species. The imports of this species increased from 5 432 tonnes (US$17 million) in 1976, to 65 526 tonnes (US$373 million) in 2001 (Figures 9a and 9b). In 1995 the import value of fresh and chilled yellowfin peaked at US$382 million (Figure 9b). Yellowfin is imported mainly by Japan for the medium-quality sashimi market and by the United States for the preparation of both sashimi and tuna steaks.

Imports of bigeye tuna increased from 429 tonnes (US$1.4 million) in 1976 to 21 907 tonnes (US$157 million) in 2001 (Figures 9a and 9b). In 1994, the import value of fresh and chilled bigeye peaked at US$228 million (Figure 9b). Bigeye is imported mainly by Japan for the sashimi market.

The imports of Atlantic and Pacific bluefin grew from 622 tonnes (US$3.3 million) in 1976 to 18 269 tonnes (US$200 million) in 1999, and then declined slightly to 15 660 tonnes (US$197 million) in 2001 (Figures 9a and 9b). The principal importer of bluefin is Japan (for the sashimi market), followed by France and Spain. The increases in recent years are due mainly to increased amounts of bluefin available from farming activities.

The principal exporters of fresh and chilled tuna are Indonesia, Spain and Taiwan Province of China. In 2001 these were as follows: Indonesia, 25 743 tonnes (US$91 million); Spain, 12 612 tonnes[60], (US$153 million); Taiwan Province of China, 12 522 tonnes (US$57 million). Australia exported only 9 033 tonnes, but, as its exports consisted mainly of southern bluefin tuna, the export value was US$94 million (Figures 10a and 10b).

FIGURE 9B
World imports, by value, of the most important species of fresh and chilled tuna


FIGURE 10A
World imports, by quantities, of the most important species of fresh and chilled tuna* by the principal countries

* Including Atlantic, Pacific and southern bluefin tuna.


FIGURE 10B
World imports, by value, of the most important species of fresh and chilled tuna* by the principal countries

* Including Atlantic, Pacific and southern bluefin tuna.

3.4.4 Canned tuna

The annual production of canned tuna increased from 499 448 tonnes (net weight) in 1976 to 1.4 million tonnes between 1998 and 2001 (Figure 11). The principal producers of canned tuna are Thailand, the United States[61] and Spain. Thailand increased its production from 4 679 tonnes in 1981 to 269 700 tonnes in 2001. Production of canned tuna in the United States fluctuated around an average of about 280 000 tonnes during 1976-2000, and declined to 230 267 tonnes in 2001. The production of canned tuna in Spain increased from 19 707 tonnes in 1976 to 229 116 tonnes in 2001.

Imports of canned tuna, in terms of volume, increased from 89 369 tonnes in 1976 to 836 266 tonnes in 2001 (Figure 12). In terms of value, they increased from US$186 million in 1976 to US$2.4 billion in 1998, decreased to US$1.8 billion in 2000 and then increased to US$2.0 billion in 2001. During 1998-2000 the imports increased in volume but decreased in value, probably due to the decline in the price of skipjack.

The principal importers of canned tuna are the United States, the United Kingdom and France, in terms of both quantity and value (Figures 13a and 13b). Thailand is, by far, the principal exporter, followed by Spain and Ecuador.

3.5 Tuna farming

Atlantic, Pacific and southern bluefin tuna are commercially farmed, mainly for the Japanese sashimi market. The fish are caught by purse seining, or in mackerel traps, and transferred to holding pens, where they are held for later sale. Two types of tuna, juveniles and post-spawning adults, are utilized. Most of the current farming uses juveniles, which are caught by purse seiners. These would not be suitable for the sashimi market at the time that they are captured. During the time that they are in captivity (about four to six months), they are fed, so their weight increases by about 15 percent, and their fat content also increases, which makes them acceptable to the Japanese sashimi market. The fish are usually caught during the northern summer and harvested near the end of the calendar year, when the prices for sashimi are highest.

FIGURE 11
World production of canned tuna by the principal countries


FIGURE 12
World imports of canned tuna


FIGURE 13A
World imports, by quantities, of canned tuna by the principal countries

The live fish are frequently traded after capture, in which case fish captured by a vessel registered in one country are transported to the waters of another country for holding. While some countries request trade certificates for live bluefin, other countries do not[62]. For this reason, live bluefin trade sometimes escapes international and regional monitoring. After harvesting, the fish are shipped to the consumer market (almost always Japan), either fresh by air freight or frozen by cargo vessels with facilities for holding the fish at very low temperatures. However, some fish are transhipped to a third country, on their way to Japan, for additional processing (Miyake, in press).

The fattening period of the tunas varies among areas, depending on the size of fish, the water temperature, and market conditions. About four to six months seems to be about the optimum time of confinement - enough to increase the fat content, but not enough to permit the flesh to become too soft. The density of fish in the pens is also important, because if there are too many fish in a pen the quality of the flesh deteriorates. Also, the quality of the food is important; if the fish are given just one type of food their flesh may taste like that food (FAO/GLOBEFISH, 2000a).

Tuna farming was first carried out in 1975 in eastern Canada, where large bluefin were caught in mackerel traps and transferred to holding pens. The first eight pens held a total of about 600 fish, weighing an average of about 500 kg each. The early success of this enterprise prompted the attempts at tuna farming in other parts of the world.

There are currently more than 30 tuna farms, with more than 200 pens, in the Mediterranean Sea region, located mainly in Spain, Italy, Malta, Turkey, Libyan Aran Jamahiriya, Tunisia and Croatia. Many of them are subsidised by the EU. Data on the production of tuna raised in captivity are not provided in FISHSTAT Plus, as the fish cannot be considered to be either catch or as a product of aquaculture. However, total production of the tuna farming industry in 2002 was estimated to be 5 000 tonnes in Spain, 4 000 tonnes in Croatia, 2 000 tonnes in Turkey, 1 800 tonnes in Italy and 1 000 tonnes in Malta (GFCM/ICCAT). It is estimated that during 1997-2002 imports of farm-raised bluefin tuna from the Mediterranean Sea area increased from virtually nil to 70 percent of total imports of bluefin tuna by Japan from the Mediterranean Sea area (Miyake, in press). Prices of farm-raised Atlantic and Pacific bluefin tuna originating from Spain decreased from ¥4 000 to ¥5000 (highest prices) to ¥1 800 to 3 000 (lowest prices) during December 2003. (INFOFISH, 2001 and 2003b).

FIGURE 13B
World imports, by value, of canned tuna by the principal countries

Farming of Pacific bluefin tuna is also carried out in northern Mexico, using purse-seine caught juveniles. The current annual production is about 1 000 to 2 000 tonnes.

In 2002 Australia was estimated to have produced about 8 000 tonnes of farm-raised southern bluefin for the Japanese sashimi market (FAO/GLOBEFISH, 2003).

Bluefin tuna are subject to catch quotas, and hence the original fish placed into pens should be subject to regulations. However, it is difficult to trace the output from the farming back to the catch, and hence farming provides ambiguity in implementing regulations. For this reason, RFBAs and environmental organizations are concerned about the practice (FAO SIPAM, 2003). In addition, yellowfin farming is carried out in Mexico (ATUNA.com data). The target is, once again, the Japanese sashimi market.

3.6 Selection of key prices and price series analysis

The main purpose of this section is to provide information on the world prices of tuna for preparation of sashimi, frozen raw tuna for canning, tuna loins and canned tuna, which will be used for the market analysis in the last section of this paper. The main sources of information used were:

The above sources were complemented by the data and information provided by the Services of the FISH INFOnetwork[64], by external GLOBEFISH correspondents and by the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences.

The historical data available for some commodities, such as frozen skipjack, frozen yellowfin and canned light-meat tuna permitted the Services of the FISH INFOnetwork and other agencies to undertake consistent price series analyses of the world tuna market. This was possible because there has been a relatively uniform world market for these types of products. However, because of the complexities of the markets for albacore, bigeye, and the three species of bluefin, it is more difficult to perform such analyses for these species. Such being the case, most of the analyses in this paper are for frozen skipjack and yellowfin tuna and canned light-meat tuna.

However, the generalised increase in the demand of tuna for non-canning uses throughout the western world and the development of bluefin tuna farming have been turning the attention of the world business community toward the non-canning sector. Therefore, information on the prices for species other than skipjack and yellowfin is likely to improve in the future.

3.6.1 Tuna for sashimi

At the Japanese wholesale market, prices of bluefin, bigeye and yellowfin for sashimi preparations are determined by the demand and the supply of fresh, chilled and frozen fish, but also by objective and subjective quality factors. These different quality factors generate different prices, according to the piece of fish auctioned. Furthermore, prices of sashimi-grade tuna fluctuate widely during the year, depending on the periods of peak consumption of sashimi:

The analysis in this subsection will rely on average year prices calculated from high and low monthly quotations on INFOFISH Trade News (ITN):

FIGURE 14A
Monthly prices of sashimi-grade southern bluefin tuna in Japan (G&G, fresh and frozen, auction Tsukiji market, origin: Australia)


FIGURE 14B
Annual prices of sashimi-grade southern bluefin tuna in Japan (auction Tsukiji market)

Consistent southern bluefin tuna prices are available only for 1995 and the years after that (Figures 14a and 14b). The high prices of southern bluefin tuna peaked in 1996 and 1997 at average quotations of ¥11 100/kg and ¥11 292/kg, respectively. After that they declined to ¥7 508/kg in 2000, and fluctuated around these values during 2001-2003. In 2003 the high prices of southern bluefin tuna were ¥765 1/kg, while the low prices declined from ¥887/kg in 1995 to ¥635/kg in 2003 (Figure 14b).

FIGURE 15A
Monthly prices of sashimi-grade Atlantic and Pacific bluefin tuna in Japan (auction Tsukiji market)


FIGURE 15B
Annual prices of sashimi-grade Atlantic and Pacific bluefin tuna in Japan (auction Tsukiji market)


FIGURE 16A
Monthly prices of sashimi-grade fresh and chilled bigeye tuna in Japan (G&G, fresh and chilled, auction Tsukiji market, origin: Indonesia

The peak prices of southern bluefin tuna reported in Japan in 1996 and 1997 were due to low supplies of whole fish from domestic captures and imports, coupled with strong demand (FAO/GLOBEFISH, 1996d). During 1999-2003 the decline in Japanese prices was a result of the market penetration by cheaper sashimi prepared from farm-raised bluefin.

Beginning in 1999, ITN began to report quotations of farm-raised Atlantic and Pacific bluefin. In December 2003 prices of farm-raised Atlantic bluefin tuna originating in Spain decreased from a price range between ¥4 000 (low price) and ¥5000 (high price) to a price range between ¥1 800 (low price) and 3 000 (high price) due to oversupply (INFOFISH, 2001 and 2003b). During 2002 and 2003 these quotations were lowering the average bluefin quotations at the Tsukiji market.

The high prices of bigeye tuna (Figures 16a, 16b, 17a, 17b and 18), like those of Atlantic, Pacific (Figure 15a and 15b) and southern bluefin (Figures 14a and 14b), have been declining since 1994. This was the result of better-than-average catches of bigeye during 1991-2000[69], increased supplies of average-quality fish caught by foreign fleets and the increased supply of farm-raised tuna. The increase in the high prices in 2003 is apparently due largely to a low supply of bigeye and a high demand for it (INFOFISH, 2003a). Prices of yellowfin seem to follow the same declining trend of the other species (Figures 19a, 19b 20a, 20b and 21).

The average prices of all species of sashimi-grade tuna began to decline during the early nineties (Figure 22). This is a consequence of the general economic situation in Japan, declining price indices and the increased supply of farm-raised bluefin and cheaper bigeye and yellowfin from Taiwan Province of China and Indonesia.

FIGURE 16B
Annual prices of sashimi-grade fresh and chilled bigeye tuna in Japan (auction Tsukiji market)


FIGURE 17A
Monthly prices of sashimi-grade frozen bigeye tuna in Japan (G&G, frozen, auction Tsukiji market)


FIGURE 17B
Annual prices of sashimi-grade frozen bigeye tuna in Japan (auction Tsukiji market)

3.6.2 Whole raw material for canning

3.6.2.1 Skipjack

Frozen skipjack for canning is the most important raw material traded at the global level. The most important market for frozen skipjack is Bangkok (Thailand). Other important markets are Vigo (Spain) and Abidjan (Côte d'Ivoire). Puerto Rico (the United States) has been, historically, the main market reference for skipjack prices in North America. However, the Puerto Rican skipjack market has been losing importance over time, due to the progressive closure of its main canneries. As a result, prices of frozen skipjack in Puerto Rico after December 2002 are not available. Hence, the world average frozen skipjack (raw material for canning) price has been calculated from the following price series:

The prices of frozen skipjack in the four reference markets are shown in Figure 23, and the estimated world prices, based on the average prices on the four reference markets, are shown in Figure 25.

In Thailand frozen skipjack prices c&f (cost and freight) reached a peak of US$1 200/tonne in February 1988 (Figure 23). From September 1988 to December 1992 these prices averaged slightly more than US$800/tonne, due mainly to the oversupply of raw material during that period. The lesser availability of tuna during 1993 and 1994 generated an increase in frozen skipjack prices, and in September 1994 the price of frozen skipjack for canning reached US$1 100/tonne. After that, however, the prices decreased, reaching a low of US$670/tonne in May 1995 (FAO/GLOBEFISH, 1995a). The catches of skipjack catches in the western Pacific Ocean were low from August to October 1995, which generated an increase in prices to US$1 100/tonne. As a result, the Thai canning giant UNICORD closed in August 1995 (FAO/GLOBEFISH, 1995b).

FIGURE 18
Annual prices of sashimi-grade frozen, fresh and chilled bigeye tuna in Japan (auction Tsukiji market)


FIGURE 19A
Monthly prices of sashimi-grade fresh and chilled yellowfin tuna in Japan (G&G, fresh and chilled, auction Tsukiji market, origin: Indonesia)


FIGURE 19B
Annual prices of sashimi-grade fresh and chilled yellowfin tuna in Japan (auction Tsukiji market)

The situation for skipjack was unstable in 1996, due to low catches and high prices during the first nine months of the year. UNICORD in Thailand sold its canneries to Bumble Bee Seafoods, a former United States canner that had been purchased by Thai interests in 1989 (FAO/GLOBEFISH, 1996c). The UNICORD crisis is reflected in the import figures of skipjack tuna and production of canned tuna in Thailand. Thai imports of frozen tuna declined from 399 960 tonnes in 1995 to 316 805 tonnes in 1996; Thai production of canned tuna declined from an estimated 221 250 tonnes in 1995 to an estimated 188 440 tonnes in 1996 (Figure 11). Thai exports of canned tuna declined from 221 243 tonnes in 1995 to 188 434 tonnes in 1996 (FISHSTAT Plus data).

During late 1996 the catches of skipjack increased and the prices decreased (FAO/GLOBEFISH, 1997a). During early 1997, however, the catches decreased and the prices increased (FAO/GLOBEFISH, 1997b). The catches continued to be low, and the prices of frozen skipjack reached their all time high in April 1998, at US$1 250/tonne (Figure 23). Subsequently the catches increased greatly, and oversupply persisted for two years. Between May and December 2000, skipjack prices decreased to their minimum levels, ranging from US$350 to US$450/tonne in the principal skipjack markets (Figure 23). The decreased fishing effort, due to restrictive measures imposed by the WTPO, together with a possible decline in abundance of skipjack, caused prices to increase to US$950/tonne in April 2001 and to an average of US$750/tonne during the following months leading up to December 2002 (albeit with a declining pattern). The "Bangkok bottleneck" caused skipjack prices on the Bangkok market to decline again, until they reached US$500/tonne in April 2003. However, WTPO measures led to an increase in prices in the following months, even reaching US$860/tonne in October and November 2003 (Figure 23).

FIGURE 20A
Monthly prices of sashimi-grade yellowfin tuna in Japan (G&G, frozen, auction Tsukiji market) high price month/year


FIGURE 20B
Annual prices of sashimi-grade yellowfin tuna in Japan (G&G, frozen, auction Tsukiji market) prices in the following months, even reaching US$860/tonne in October and November 2003 (Figure 23).


FIGURE 21
Annual prices of sashimi-grade fresh, chilled and frozen yellowfin tuna in Japan (auction Tsukiji market)

3.6.2.2 Yellowfin

Yellowfin and skipjack are both canned as "light-meat tuna", although canned yellowfin is generally considered to be of higher quality than canned skipjack. Also, because they are larger, it is easier to prepare a given quantity of yellowfin for canning, and the percentage of the meat that can be canned as solid or chunk tuna is greater for yellowfin. Finally, yellowfin yield more meat per kilogram than do skipjack. The principal area of consumption of canned yellowfin is Southern Europe. Due to its reliance on yellowfin as raw material for canning, the Southern European market can be considered as the reference for yellowfin raw material prices. The following information on other important yellowfin markets is given by FISHSTAT Plus data:

Historically, the California (until the mid-eighties) and Italian markets have provided the global reference prices for frozen whole yellowfin for canning. Between the mid- and late nineties, due to substitution of frozen whole yellowfin for canning with frozen loins, Italy ceased to be the world market reference of frozen yellowfin prices.

In 2001 Spain[70] became the top importer of frozen yellowfin, with 109 614 tonnes of frozen yellowfin, (26 percent of the world's frozen yellowfin imports according to FISHSTAT Plus data). Italy is also an important importer of frozen yellowfin. According to FISHSTAT Plus and EUROSTAT data, Italian imports of frozen yellowfin for canning increased from 52 000 tonnes in 1976 to a peak of 103 140 tonnes in 1987, and then declined during the following years to a low of 35 780 tonnes in 2002. However, due to the historical importance of Italy as an importer of frozen tuna for canning; and the presence of important price quotations in the Italian market for frozen whole yellowfin from the Indian and Atlantic Ocean, the world average frozen yellowfin, prices have been calculated on the basis of the following series (as in Figures 24a, 24b and 24c):

FIGURE 22
Annual prices of sashimi-grade tuna in Japan (a comparison between the species'average prices)s


FIGURE 23
Frozen skipjack prices in Asia (Thailand), Europe (Spain), United States and Africas


FIGURE 24A
Prices in Italy for whole frozen yellowfin from the Indian and Atlantic Oceans for canning month-year

The world indicative price series of frozen yellowfin for canning for 1987-2003 is the result of the average price quotations on the Spanish market (since 1993) and the Italian market (Figures 24a, 24b and 24c).

The Italian yellowfin prices increased during the nineties, but declined toward the end of the decade (Figures 24a and 24b). The nineties opened with good yellowfin catches, and the Italian market was not affected by the tuna-dolphin issue. Furthermore, the First Gulf War prompted Italian consumers to buy large quantities of canned food, such as tuna (FAO/GLOBEFISH, 1991). The prices of yellowfin from the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, which had reached US$2.02/kg in December 1987 and January 1988 decreased to US$1.05/kg in August 1991. The corresponding figures for yellowfin from the EPO were US$1.83/kg in January 1988 and US$0.90/kg in September 1991.

Declining yellowfin catches moved prices up once again, reaching US$1.41/kg in February 1992 for fish from the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. Beginning in November1992, Italy implemented a ban on yellowfin from the EPO due to the tuna-dolphin issue (FAO/GLOBEFISH data bank). Increasing awareness of this issue caused Italian yellowfin imports from other areas to drop as well. Therefore, prices of raw material from the Indian and Atlantic Oceans declined to US$1.02/kg in December 1992. The embargo was eventually lifted in May 1995 (Figure 24b).

FIGURE 24B
Prices in Italy for whole frozen yellowfin from the eastern and western Pacific Ocean for canning


FIGURE 24C
Prices in Spain for whole frozen yellowfin from Spanish vessels for canning

The catches of yellowfin declined during the early nineties. While canneries in developing countries preferred to shut down, rather than to continue paying high prices for tuna, Italian and Spanish canneries continued to buy yellowfin. In Italy (Figures 24a and 24b), prices of yellowfin increased to US$1.88/kg for Indian and Atlantic Ocean yellowfin in July 1995 and US$1.73/kg for EPO yellowfin between June and August 1995.

Increased catches then led to declines in prices. Yellowfin tuna prices were US$1.30/kg for fish from the Indian and Atlantic Oceans and US$1.24/kg for fish from the EPO in January 1996. However, low catches during the following months, exacerbated by the El Niño event of 1997-1998, caused the price of yellowfin to increase to the unprecedented level of US$2.05/kg for fish from the Indian and Atlantic Oceans in May 1998. At the end of the decade, however, The catches increased and the prices declined, averaging about US$1.00/kg to US$1.20/kg during 2000 (Figures 24a and 24b).

By the end of 2000, owners of purse seiners, within the framework of the WTPO, agreed to reduce their catches, particularly of skipjack, to increase the prices of the raw material (FAO/GLOBEFISH, 2001a). Subsequently, poor catches of yellowfin in most oceans (FAO/GLOBEFISH, 2001b, 2001c, 2001d, 2001e, 2001f, 2001g and 2001h) increased prices further. The prices of yellowfin from the Indian and Atlantic Oceans increased from US$1.15/kg in January 2001 to 1.27/kg in October 2001, and those of yellowfin from the western Pacific Ocean increased from 1.07 US$/kg in January 2001 to 1.20 US$/kg in January 2002. On the other hand, the prices of yellowfin from the EPO declined from US$1.14/kg in January 2001 to US$1.00/kg in March 2001, and then increased slightly to US$1.09/kg in October 2001.

In Spain the prices of yellowfin (origin: Spanish vessels) increased from US$0.98/kg in November 2000 to US$1.30/kg in September 2001, and then declined to US$1.24/kg in December 2001 (Figure 24c) (GLOBEFISH data bank).

During the following months declining catches, including those in the eastern central Pacific, (FAO/GLOBEFISH, 2002a, 2002b and 2002c), caused the prices to increase to US$1.25/kg for fish from the EPO, US$1.35/kg for fish from the western Pacific Ocean and US$1.4 1/kg for fish from the Indian and Atlantic Oceans in November 2002 (Figure24a). In Spain the prices increased to US$1.51/kg in December 2002 (Figure 24c) (GLOBEFISH data bank).

FIGURE 25
Average world prices for whole frozen skipjack and yellowfin for cannings


FIGURE 26
Prices of skipjack and yellowfin loins from Latin America in Italy

The catches and prices paid for yellowfin were relatively stable in 2003. The catches of yellowfin were above average in the Indian Ocean, but below average in the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans, which tended to stabilize the prices. In July 2003 the prices were US$1.32/kg for fish from the western Pacific Ocean and US$1.42/kg for fish from the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. After that the prices for large fish (50 kg) caught in the Indian Ocean[71] declined to US$1.29/kg in September 2003, and US$1.08/kg in November 2003, but then increased to US$1.22/kg in December 2003. No price quotes for this period are available for the Pacific Ocean (Figures 24a and 24b). In Spain, prices of yellowfin declined from US$1.46/kg in January 2003 to US$1.18/kg in December 2003 (Figure 24c), probably because of the above-average catches in the Indian Ocean, the origin of more than 50 percent of Spain's catches of yellowfin.

The data that will be used in the Conclusions section of this report are unweighted annual averages for yellowfin and skipjack; yellowfin prices have been converted from US$/kg to US$/tonne (Figure 25). The upward and downward trends for the two species were similar.

The prices increased slightly from 1989 to 1998, decreased precipitously from 1998 to 2000 and then increased at a modest rate from 2000 to 2003.

3.6.3 Loins

It is a common practice for tuna that are caught in tropical waters to be landed in Africa or Latin America, where they are pre-cooked and loined. Then the frozen loins are transported to Europe or North America, where they are canned.

The prices of yellowfin and skipjack loins in the Italian market from 1999 to 2003 are shown in Figure 26. About 70 percent of total canned tuna production in Italy during 1994-2001 came from loins. Prices of yellowfin loins averaged €3.40/kg until 2002. After that the demand for loins decreased, and prices declined.

The prices of skipjack loins declined from €2.51/kg in January 1999 to €1.88/kg in January 2001. The restrictive measures taken by the industry on skipjack catches implemented between the end of 2000 and the beginning of 2001 caused the prices of skipjack loins to increase to €3.35/kg in August 2001. After that they fluctuated between €3.15 and €3.20/kg, and then increased to €3.41/kg during February-April 2002. After that the prices of skipjack loins declined to €2.28/kg in January and February 2003. Restrictions on catches implemented by the members of the WTPO led the prices of skipjack loins to increase to €$2.53/kg in May 2003 (Figure 26).

FIGURE 27
Monthly prices of canned skipjack in brine from Thailand in the EU and the United States

3.6.4 Canned tuna

The prices, per carton, of canned chunk skipjack tuna in brine (or in oil, when prices of canned tuna in brine were not available[72]) from Thailand in the two major world markets, the EU and the United States, are shown in Figure 27. A carton consists of 48 6- to 6.5-ounce (170- to 184-g) cans[73].

During 1983-1988 the prices were higher in the United States than in Europe, during 1989-1993 they were roughly the same, and since then, especially during 1996-1999 and from mid-2001 through 2002, the prices have been higher in Europe than in the United States. During the period when the demand and prices were high in Europe, the prices in the United States were declining due to:

Due to relatively low catches and buoyant demand, European prices of canned tuna reached their peak in July-September 1998 (US$27/carton). In 1999 and 2000, however, exceptionally large catches of skipjack caused the prices to decrease, reaching their minimum levels, US$13.50/carton in Europe and US$11.25/carton in the United States during August-December 2000.

The restrictions on fishing effort implemented by the WTPO at the end of 2000 decreased the supply to tuna, causing the prices of canned tuna to increase to US$22.70/carton in Europe in June 2001 and US$18.10/carton in the United States during April-June 2001). Prices of canned tuna in Europe and in the United States remained turbulent during the rest of 2001, mainly because the restrictive measures imposed by the tuna industry were a last-resort artificial solution. The prices of canned tuna remained stable in Europe from January to September 2002, while those in the United States dropped from US$16.50/carton in January to US$15.50/carton in September of that year. The difference was due to decreased demand for canned tuna in the United States (Lischewski, 2002), but not in Europe (FAO/GLOBEFISH, 2002b).

Beginning in October 2002, the prices of canned tuna declined in both markets, due to an oversupply of skipjack. and in June 2003 the prices were US$15.50/carton in Europe and US$12.50/carton in the United States. However, in the months that followed, canned tuna prices in the United States increased to US$15.50/carton in September 2003 and US$16.25/carton in October and November 2003 (exceeding the EU price US$15.50/carton). These increases were probably the result of WTPO measures agreed upon in April 2003. In December 2003 the prices in Europe increased to US$17/carton, while those in the United States declined to US$15/carton.

FIGURE 28
Monthly prices of skipjack and yellowfin canned in brine in the EU

TABLE 1
Tuna conversion factors (net weight to live-weight equivalent from FAO FIDI data)

Albacore, fresh or chilled

1

Albacore, frozen

1

Albacore, G&G, frozen

1.1

Albacore, heads-off, etc., frozen

1.3

Albacore, canned

1.92

Albacore, in brine, canned

1.92

Albacore, in oil, canned

1.92

Albacore, solid pack, canned

1.92

Bluefin tuna, fresh or chilled

1

Bluefin tuna, frozen

1.1

Skipjack tuna, canned

1.92

Skipjack tuna, fresh or chilled

1

Skipjack tuna, frozen

1

Skipjack tuna, in brine, canned

1.92

Skipjack tuna, in oil, canned

1.92

Tuna loins (not for canning) and fillets

1.3

Tunas nei, canned*

1.92

Tunas nei, frozen

1.16

Tunas, bonitos, billfishes, etc., canned

1.92

Tunas, bonitos, billfishes, frozen

1.16

Tunas, chunk-pack, canned

1.92

Tunas, chunk-pack, in brine, canned

1.92

Tunas, chunk-pack, in oil, canned

1.92

Tunas, flakes and grated, canned

1.92

Tunas, flakes and grated, in brine, canned

1.92

Tunas, flakes and grated, in oil, canned

1.92

Yellowfin tuna, fresh or chilled

1

Yellowfin tuna, frozen

1

Yellowfin tuna, gilled, gutted, frozen

1.1

Yellowfin tuna, heads-off, etc., frozen

1.3

* And tuna loins for canning.

Traditionally, market analysts have not collected nor analysed the prices of solid-pack canned yellowfin because it is more expensive than other types of canned yellowfin, and hence not representative of the canned tuna market. However, a consistent series of prices for solid-pack canned yellowfin in the EU (origin: African, Caribbean and Pacific, ACP) is available in past issues of the ITN; the trend seems to be consistent with that for canned skipjack.

Imports to the EU accounted for 52 percent of the world imports of canned tuna during 1976-2001 (FISHSTAT Plus data). The United States is also an important market for canned tuna, but the progressive reduction of the capacity of the standard can from 6.5 to 6 oz (184 to 170 g) operated by the government does not allow a reliable price estimate. Therefore, canned tuna prices are based on:

It is in this way possible to calculate the average prices of canned skipjack and yellowfin in the EU market, the most important market for canned skipjack and yellowfin in the world (Figure 29). Due to the different can sizes, the values have been converted from US$/carton into US$/tonne and divided by the conversion factor of 1.92 (see Table 1), in order to estimate the prices in live-weight equivalents. These values will be used in the concluding chapter.

The average prices of canned tuna declined from US$1 435/tonne in 1989 to US$1 212/tonne in 1992, mainly due to a persisting oversupply of raw material and the impact of the tuna-dolphin issue. In the years that followed, prices increased, reaching US$1 599/tonne in 1997 and US$1 578/tonne in 1998. Oversupplies of raw material during the years that followed reduced the prices to US$995/tonne in 2000. WTPO measures aimed at restricting the supply of raw material caused the prices of canned tuna, as well as those of raw material, to increase. The prices of canned tuna increased to US$1 336/tonne in 2001, but declined during the years that followed, reaching US$1 120/tonne in 2003.

FIGURE 29
Average prices for canned skipjack and yellowfin tuna in the EU (net of conversion factors, in US$/tonne, by month

4. Conclusion

The ultimate aim of this paper is to demonstrate the relationship between the tuna market (sashimi, raw material and canned tuna) and tuna catches by utilizing a practical "bottom-up" approach. Such an approach relies on the analysis of empirical data series as a necessary pre-requisite for the elaboration of a theoretical model.

The analysis of the relationship between the sashimi tuna market and tuna catches is based on the following data:

On the other hand, the analysis of the relationship between the markets for raw material and canned tuna and the catches of tuna is based on the following data:

The results of this paper will be used in the estimation of tuna fishing capacity, and hence for the estimation of the optimum management of fishing capacity to achieve sustainability in tuna fisheries.

4.1 The market for sashimi-grade tuna

The analysis of the sashimi market will focus on Atlantic, Pacific and southern bluefin and on bigeye, the four species that best represent this market.

Due to the similar nature of the markets for Atlantic, Pacific and southern bluefin, and their similar prices, the data for the three species are combined (Figure 30). The data for the catches of bluefin are taken from FISHSTAT Plus and from world import data (converted into live-weight data[76]). The prices were obtained from price data for the Japanese Tsukiji market. The market prices of bluefin shown in Figure 30 are averages of the low and high prices of Atlantic, Pacific and southern bluefin tunas from the subsection Tuna for sashimi of the section Selection of key prices and price series analysis.

The data presented here must be interpreted with caution, however, because of the large amounts of juvenile bluefin (sometimes up to 60 percent of catches) that are not sashimi-quality, and hence do not appear in bluefin market prices. These juveniles may be consumed as meji (young tuna), canned or confined in pens for later sale as sashimi-grade tuna. Furthermore, especially prior to the introduction of documents such as the BFSD[77], large quantities of bluefin were traded under different names or just as tunas nei, so the data for the years prior to mid-nineties shown below almost certainly do not represent the full extent of the bluefin market.

FIGURE 30
World market for Atlantic, Pacific and southern bluefin tunas for sashimi


FIGURE 31
World market for bigeye for sashimi

Imports of bluefin increased from 5 564 tonnes (live-weight equivalent) in 1986 to 7 542 tonnes in 1990 and 7 354 tonnes in 1991. However, as in the previous paragraph, these data are almost certainly underestimates. At the same time, the catches of bluefin decreased from 62 549 tonnes in 1986 to 44 669 tonnes in 1991. As a result of strong demand and low catches, prices increased from ¥5 279/kg in 1986 to ¥7 299/kg in 1991 (Figure 30).

During the years that followed, imports increased more substantially, from a low of 5 287 tonnes (live-weight equivalent) in 1992 to 24 642 tonnes in 1995, and then declined slightly to 23 937 tonnes in 1996. The catches increased to a record high of 83 666 tonnes in 1996. Increasing imports from 1991 to 1996 indicate an increase in demand, but the prices did not increase due to the increased supply. In fact, prices decreased from ¥7 299/kg in 1991 to ¥5 246/kg in 1995 and ¥5 885/kg in 1996 (Figure 30).

After that, as a result of stringent ICCAT and CCSBT quotas, the catches declined to 65 435 tonnes in 1998. The catch increased slightly to 69 623 tonnes in 1999, but eventually decreased to 60 368 tonnes in 2001. The imports of bluefin were 33 003 tonnes (live-weight equivalent) in 1999, declined slightly to 28 194 tonnes in 2000 and then increased to 31 709 tonnes in 2001. In turn, Japanese prices declined over the entire 1997-2001 period, reaching ¥4 046/kg in 2001. Despite substantial imports and declining catches, the development of tuna farming in the Mediterranean Sea and elsewhere since 1997 has made available increasing quantities of cheaper farm-raised bluefin in the world market, lowering the average bluefin tuna prices. The average bluefin tuna prices reached a low of ¥3 936/kg in 2003.

Information on the world market for bigeye tuna for sashimi is shown in Figure 31. The catch data (for longline gear only) were obtained from Miyake et al. (in press), and those for imports (live-weight equivalent[78]) are based on FISHSTAT Plus data. The prices were obtained from price data for the Japanese Tsukiji market. The market prices of bigeye shown in Figure 31 are averages of the prices of fresh/chilled and frozen bigeye from obtained from the subsection Tuna for sashimi of the section Selection of key prices and price series analysis.

The longline catches of bigeye increased from 262 337 tonnes in 1990 to 286 129 tonnes in 1994, declined during 1995 and 1996, increased during 1997 and 1998, reaching 287 148 tonnes in the latter year and then decreased again, to 261 261 tonnes in 2000. The imports of bigeye increased from 96 484 tonnes in 1990 to 146 404 tonnes in 2000. Prices of bigeye in the Japanese market increased from ¥2 947/kg in 1989 to ¥3 324/kg in 1994, but declined in the years that followed, reaching a low of ¥1 757 in 2000.

It is interesting to note that the catches and prices of bigeye both peaked in 1994. However, the decline of bigeye prices during the latter half of the nineties was the result of increased supplies of cheaper bigeye from imports (and also increased imports of cheaper bluefin from farming), even though the catches of bigeye decreased.

4.2 The market for raw material for canning and for canned tuna

The present analysis will cover the canned tuna market during the 1989-2001 period, which was characterized by:

The analysis will cover the markets for skipjack and yellowfin for canning. The catch data should be interpreted with caution, however, as not all skipjack caught are canned: in Japan, for example, large amounts of skipjack are used to prepare tataki or fushi.

The market for skipjack raw material has followed a variable trend over the past decade. At the beginning of the decade, the catches of skipjack increased from 1.2 million tonnes in 1989 to 1.6 million tonnes in 1991, while the imports[79] of whole frozen skipjack for canning increased from 347 347 tonnes in 1989 to 577 016 tonnes in 1991. The increased demand for skipjack generated a price increase from US$763/tonne in 1989 to US$806/tonne in 1990. In the months that followed, oversupply caused by an increase in catches (from 1.3 million tonnes in 1990 to 1.6 million tonnes in 1991), caused a decline in prices from US$806/tonne in 1990 to US$737/tonne in 1991, despite the increase in demand, as measured by the increase in imports from 402 087 tonnes in 1990 to 577 016 tonnes in 1991. As a consequence of the exceptionally high catches of 1991, however, the demand declined in 1992 to 463 266 tonnes and the price to US$646/tonne (Figure 32).

During 1992-1993 skipjack catches were lower, 1.4 million tonnes in 1992 and less than 1.5 million tonnes in 1993, as compared to a previous peak of 1.6 million tonnes in 1991. Imports were virtually constant for the next three years, 463 266 tonnes in 1992, 463 852 tonnes in 1993 and 467 987 tonnes in 1994. According to market analysts at the time (FAO/GLOBEFISH, 1994), a prolonged period of relatively low catches and buoyant demand resulted in a record price of US$1 100/tonne in the Bangkok market in September 1994 (Figure 32).

The catches increased to more than 1.6 million tonnes in 1995. Despite the high import level (547 483 tonnes), the increased catches and the reduced imports (446 967 tonnes) brought the price down to US$847/tonne. In 1996 the catches (1.58 million tonnes) and imports (446 967) were lower, but the price increased to US$873/tonne. The explanation for this apparent paradox lies in the reduced imports by the world's top skipjack importer, Thailand. Due to the crisis at UNICORD, the Thai tuna giant, which was forced to sell its assets to Bumble Bee Seafoods, the imports of skipjack in Thailand declined from 320 431 tonnes in 1995 to 240 872 tonnes in 1996 (FISHSTAT Plus data).

FIGURE 32
World market for whole frozen skipjack for canning


FIGURE 33
World market for whole frozen yellowfin for canning


FIGURE 34
World market for tuna loins

The good demand for skipjack in 1997 (482 779 tonnes) and 1998 (566 541 tonnes), coupled with stable catches in 1997 (1.6 million tonnes) and lower catches during the first half of 1998, brought skipjack prices to an all-time high of US$1 101/tonne in the United States and US$1 250/tonne in Bangkok in April 1998. During the second half of 1998 the catches began to increase, reaching about 1.9 million tonnes for 1998 and 2 million tonnes in 1999, which led skipjack prices to decline from US$948/tonne in 1998 to US$640/tonne in 1999. The demand increased from 566 541 tonnes in 1998 to 669 250 tonnes in 1999 (Figure 32).

In 2000 the excess of supply caused skipjack prices to reach an all-time low of US$496/tonne, and created considerable economic hardship for vessel owners and fishers. The catches declined slightly, and, due to an oversupply of raw material, imports dropped to 528 920 tonnes. The implementation of WTPO-led measures to reduce fishing effort reduced the catches to 1.8 million tonnes and increased the prices to US$732/tonne. In the same year, imports increased to 551 017 tonnes, due to the reduction of the supply while the prices were still relatively low. However, the problem of skipjack oversupply re-emerged in 2002 and early 2003, resulting in another WTPO intervention[80].

Information on the world market of yellowfin for canning is shown in Figure 33. Yellowfin is considered to be of higher quality than skipjack, and a significant portion of the yellowfin catches, especially those of vessels of Japan, Taiwan Province of China and the Republic of Korea are destined to the non-canning sector. In some areas of the world, particularly Southern Europe, yellowfin is almost the only species utilized for canning. The catches were relatively steady throughout the period, and the prices less so, having been lowest during 1991-1993 and 1999-2000.

FIGURE 35
World market for canned tuna

Tuna loins were introduced in 1989, first in the United States and then in Europe, as a way to cut production costs in the canneries of developed countries without having to reduce employment drastically. The imports of loins estimated by the author of this paper from FISHSTAT Plus data are much greater than the imports of loins reported by the principal importers (Figure 34).

The estimation was done with FISHSTAT Plus and EUROSTAT data as follows: {EU production of canned tuna live weight - [EU catches of skipjack and yellowfin + [(EU imports of frozen skipjack and yellowfin live weight - EU exports of skipjack and yellowfin live weight)]} + {United States production of canned tuna live weight - [United States catches of skipjack and yellowfin + [(United States imports of frozen skipjack and yellowfin live weight - United States exports of skipjack and yellowfin live weight)]} = estimated imports of the equivalent live weights of the loins by the tuna industries of the EU and the United States live weight. Multiplication of this by the appropriate conversion factor results in estimated imports of loins by the tuna industries of the EU and the United States.

The international demand for canned tuna, as measured by imports, is the driving force behind the evolution of the market. However, in contrast to the other more expensive commodities, the relation between imports and prices of canned tuna is relatively weak, as shown by Figure 35. Because the raw material and canned tuna are relatively inexpensive, importers and consumers do not limit their purchases of these when the prices increase[81]. However, a drastic decline in prices of canned tuna, such as that of 1998-2000, may increase purchases of canned tuna significantly (Figure 35). Nevertheless, increasing demand for canned tuna has not always contributed to increases in the prices of canned tuna.

The imports of canned tuna increased during 1990-1995[82], while prices declined during 1989-1992 and 1994-1995. Both imports and prices increased during 1995-1997. During the years that followed the imports of canned tuna continued to increase, but the supply of raw material increased more rapidly, which led to a plunge in prices of raw material. In 2001 the prices of canned tuna increased, due to measures restricting fishing effort implemented by the WTPO. In 2002 and 2003, however, the prices of canned tuna declined again, as a result of an oversupply of raw material.

On the other hand, it can be seen in Figure 35 that the trends in the prices of canned tuna and raw material correspond closely with one another: hence prices of canned tuna are most influenced by the prices of raw material, which are controlled by the supplies of raw material. It is apparent, from monthly price data from the GLOBEFISH data bank, that the prices of canned tuna respond quickly to variations in the prices of raw material.

FIGURE 36
Catches of tuna, imports of raw material, imports of canned tuna, and average tuna prices

It can also be seen in Figure 35 that an average of 85 percent of the catches of skipjack and yellowfin during 1989-2001 was processed as canned tuna (live-weight equivalent).

The link between the amounts of canned tuna processed and amounts of raw material available is obviously strong, but the links between either of these and the prices of canned tuna prices are relatively weak (Figure 35). In theory, processing should be inversely proportional to the prices of raw material prices and directly proportional to prices of canned tuna prices, but the amounts of raw material and the prices of canned tuna are almost parallel, and the processing curve does not follow any of the price curves. The principal reason for this is the fact that there are producers of canned tuna of a reasonably high quality (yellowfin) who are willing to pay high prices for raw material to supply the demand for canned tuna. If it were possible to separate skipjack and yellowfin in the processing data, skipjack processing would probably appear to be more dependent than yellowfin on the prices of raw material.

It is now possible to compare the imports and the prices of tuna (raw material and canned tuna) with the catches of skipjack and the purse-seine and pole-and-line catches of yellowfin[83] in order to determine the extent of the interactions between supply and demand.

Buoyant international demand for canned tuna generated an increase in catches and imports of raw material from 1992 to 1998. However, as the increase in catches was not enough to create an oversupply[84], the prices increased during that period. The price declines between 1990 and 1992 and (more seriously) between 1998 and 2000 were caused by excess supplies. The price depression reached a hypogeum at the end of 2000 (Figure 36). The supply-restricting measures implemented by the WTPO limited catches between the end of 2000 and the beginning of 2001, increased the prices, but, as far as skipjack was concerned, its benefits proved to be only temporary (Figure 36).

In a situation for which natural resources are regarded as inexhaustible and where oversupply conditions do not exist, increasing demand for canned tuna would generate an increase in imports of raw material, catches and prices. At the same time, increasing prices of raw material and canned tuna would stimulate the construction of fishing vessels, which would, of course, increase the catches.

At the same time, variations in the catches (supply) and imports (demand) of raw material have opposite impacts over tuna prices. If the increase in catches exceeds the increase in imports (creating an oversupply) the prices decline; if the increase in imports exceeds the increase in catches, the prices increase.

The amount of canned tuna processed is determined by the supply of raw material available to feed a constantly growing demand, rather than by variations in raw material or canned tuna prices. Catches of tuna and production of canned tuna followed an almost parallel trend in the period under examination (Figure 35). However, the processing of canned tuna has been growing more slowly than the catches, mainly because tuna-processing capacity has been growing more slowly than tuna-fishing capacity. In fact, tuna processing capacity is linked more to state of technology than to the abundance of natural resources and the ability to concentrate on the most productive fishing grounds.

When the market is oversupplied the positive correlations between catches, imports, processing and prices break down, and prices decline. The decreases in price that occurred between late 1998 and late 2000 were, ultimately, the result of excess fishing capacity. The prices of raw material and canned tuna had been elevated since 1992, and had increased since 1996 (Figure 36). As a result, it was appropriate to try to maximise the catches by maximising the numbers of days spent at sea and by constructing more vessels. In late 1998, however, the abundance of resources, combined with increased fishing capacity, generated large increases in the catches. These continued in the following years until in late 2000 the WTPO had to implement measures to limit the supply in order to increase the prices of raw material. Had the WTPO not intervened, the continuing excess of fishing capacity input might have had adverse effects on one or more of the target or non-target species.

Acknowledgements

Credits are owed, for the production of this paper, to the Fisheries Agency of Japan for its financial contribution. I also express my gratitude to the Marine Resources Service (FIRM) and the Fish Utilization and Marketing Service (FIIU) for their support in the preparation of the paper.

A special mention goes to my supervisors, Ms Helga Josupeit, Fishery Industry Officer, FIIU, and Dr Jacek Majkowski, Fishery Resources Officer, FIRM, and to Ms Dora Blessich, Consultant, FIRM, for the input provided along every stage of the study. I also thank the Senior Management of the Fishery Resources Division (FIR): Dr Serge Garcia, Director, FIR, and Dr Jorge Csirke, Chief, FIRM, for providing me with the opportunity to further FAO investigations into the world tuna market and industry. I also thank Ms Marina Mansueti, Accounting Clerk, FIRM.

My deepest gratitude goes to the authors of the regional studies, i.e. the Services of the FISH INFOnetwork (INFOFISH, INFOPÊCHE, INFOPESCA and INFOSAMAK) and Dr Minoru Tada (Japan International Research Centre for Agricultural Science). Without their contributions, this paper would have not reached its final stage.

Within the FAO Fisheries Department, I also thank for their professional input and/or support during the preparation of the study: Dr Lahsen Ababouch, FIIU; Ms Karine Boisset, FIIU; Mr Salvatore (Rino) Coppola, FIRM; Mr Valerio Crespi, Inland Water Resources and Aquaculture Service (FIRI); Ms Adele Crispoldi, Fishery Information, Data and Statistics Unit (FIDI); Mr Ib Kollavik-Jensen, Programme Coordination Unit (FIDP); Mr Ignacio de Leiva Moreno, FIRM; Dr Audun Lem, FIIU; Mr Henri Loréal, FIIU; Mr Jochen Nierentz, FIIU; Mr Gerry O'Sullivan, FIIU; Mr Tony Piccolo, FIIU; Ms Turan Rahimzadeh, FIIU; and Ms Stefania Vannuccini, FIDI.

Valuable information was provided by Mr Alberto Benveniste, Bolton Alimentari Italia, Mr Pierre Commère of the Association des Entreprises de Produits Alimentaires Elaborés (ADEPALE), France; Ms Ingelill Jacobsen, Norwegian Seafood Export Council (NSEC), Norway; Ms Marcela Campa and Mssrs Chris Lischewski and Mike McGowan, Bumble Bee Seafoods, United States of America; Dr Jim Joseph, Former Director of IATTC; Ms Loretta Malvarosa, Istituto di Ricerche Economiche per la Pesca e l’Acquacoltura (IREPA), Italy; Ms Rossella Marricchi, Associazione Nazionale Conservieri Ittici e delle Tonnare (ANCIT), Italy; Mr Julio Morón Ayala, Organización de Productores de Grandes Atuneros Congeladores (OPAGAC), Spain; Mr Carlos Ruiz, Asociación Nacional de Fabricantes de Conservas de Pescados y Mariscos (ANFACO), Spain, Mr Philippe Paquotte, Office National Interprofessionnel des Produits de la Mer et de l'aquaculture (OFIMER), France; and the Seychelles Fishing Authority.

Editing credits are owed to Dr Peter Miyake (Federation of Japan Tuna Fisheries Co-operative Association), Dr Suba Subasinghe (INFOFISH), Ms Paola Sabatini, Consultant, FIIU, Mr William Bayliff (Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, IATTC), Ms Françoise Schatto-Terribile, Publication Assistant, FIDI and Ms Tina Farmer, Technical Editor, FIDI.

References

ADB/INFOFISH. 1991. Global industry update: tuna. In H. Josupeit, ed. Global industry updates (1991 edition). INFOFISH, Kuala Lumpur. 134 pp.

Allen, R. L. 2002. Global tuna resources: limits to growth and sustainability. In S. Subasinghe & P. Sudari, eds. Global tuna industry situation and outlook: resources, production & marketing trends and technological issues. Proceedings of the Tuna 2002 Kuala Lumpur, 7th INFOFISH World Tuna Trade Conference. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 30 May-1 June, 2002, pp. 3-12. Kuala Lumpur, INFOFISH. 208 pp.

ATUNA. Archive tuna market news. (available at http://www.atuna.com/markt/market_index_M.htm).

Carbon Monoxide Kills. 2003. Carbon monoxide information. (available at http://www.carbonmonoxidekills.com/coinformation.htm).

Carril Diaz, A. 2002. Technological developments in tuna canning and processing. In S. Subasinghe & P. Sudari, eds. Global tuna industry situation and outlook: resources, production & marketing trends and technological issues. Proceedings of the Tuna 2002 Kuala Lumpur, 7th INFOFISH World Tuna Trade Conference. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 30 May-1 June, 2002, pp. 143-147. Kuala Lumpur, INFOFISH. 208 pp.

Chicken of the Sea. 2002. Frequently asked questions. (available at http://www.chickenofthesea.com/faqs.asp).

CNN. 2001. Cooked tuna could be hazardous to your health.(available at http://www.cnn.com/2001/HEALTH/03/13/cooked.tuna/).

Commission Regulation (EC) No 466/2001 of 8 March 2001 setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs. OJ L 77 16/3/2001, pp. 1-13. (available at at http://europa.eu.int/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexapi!prod!CELEXnumdoc&lg=EN&numdoc=32001R0466&model=guicheti).

EPA. 2001. Mercury update: impact on fish advisories. EPA Office of Water Fact Sheet [EPA-823-F-01-11]. 10 pp. (available at http://www.epa.gov/ost/fishadvice/mercupd.pdf).

European Parliament and Council Directive 36/1994 on colours for use in foodstuffs. OJ L 237, 10/9/1994 pp. 13-29. http://europa.eu.int/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexapi!prod!CELEXnumdoc&lg=EN&numdoc=31994L0036&model=guicheti).

Faleomaveaga, E. 2002. The impact of expected us duty revision on American Samoa with regard to developing longline fisheries in Samoa Islands and Fiji. In S. Subasinghe & P. Sudari, eds. Global tuna industry situation and outlook: resources, production & marketing trends and technological issues. Proceedings of the Tuna 2002 Kuala Lumpur, 7th INFOFISH World Tuna Trade Conference. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 30 May-1 June, 2002, pp. 52-54. Kuala Lumpur, INFOFISH. 208 pp.

FAO SIPAM. 2003. Bluefin tuna under threat. FAO SIPAM News and Highlights. Rome, FAO. (available at http://www.faosipam.org/news.asp?Id=184)

FAO/GLOBEFISH. 1991. GLOBEFISH Highlights 2/1991. Rome. 28 pp.

FAO/GLOBEFISH. 1994. GLOBEFISH Highlights 3/1994. Rome. 23 pp.

FAO/GLOBEFISH. 1995a. GLOBEFISH Highlights 2/1995. Rome. 22 pp.

FAO/GLOBEFISH. 1995b. GLOBEFISH Highlights 3/1995. Rome. 24 pp.

FAO/GLOBEFISH. 1996a. GLOBEFISH Highlights 1/1996. Rome. 24 pp.

FAO/GLOBEFISH. 1996b. GLOBEFISH Highlights 2/1996. Rome. 27 pp.

FAO/GLOBEFISH. 1996c. GLOBEFISH Highlights 3/1996. Rome. 26 pp.

FAO/GLOBEFISH. 1996d. GLOBEFISH Highlights 4/1996. Rome. 32 pp.

FAO/GLOBEFISH. 1997a. GLOBEFISH Highlights 1/1997. Rome. 23 pp.

FAO/GLOBEFISH. 1997b. GLOBEFISH Highlights 2/1997. Rome. 28 pp.

FAO/GLOBEFISH. 1998. GLOBEFISH Highlights 3/1998. Rome. 21 pp.

FAO/GLOBEFISH. 2000a. GLOBEFISH Highlights 2/2000. Rome. 20 pp.

FAO/GLOBEFISH. 2000b. GLOBEFISH Highlights 4/2000. Rome. 20 pp.

FAO/GLOBEFISH. 2001a. European Fish Price Report 01/2001. Rome. 18 pp.

FAO/GLOBEFISH. 2001b. European Fish Price Report 04/2001. Rome. 21 pp.

FAO/GLOBEFISH. 2001c. European Fish Price Report 05/2001. Rome. 20 pp.

FAO/GLOBEFISH. 2001d. European Fish Price Report 06/2001. Rome. 24 pp.

FAO/GLOBEFISH. 2001e. European Fish Price Report 07/2001. Rome. 21 pp.

FAO/GLOBEFISH. 2001 f. European Fish Price Report 08/2001. Rome. 18 pp.

FAO/GLOBEFISH. 2001g. European Fish Price Report 09/2001. Rome. 20 pp.

FAO/GLOBEFISH. 2001h. European Fish Price Report 12/2001. Rome. 18 pp.

FAO/GLOBEFISH. 2002a. European Fish Price Report 01/2002. Rome. 18 pp.

FAO/GLOBEFISH. 2002b. European Fish Price Report 03/2002. Rome. 17 pp.

FAO/GLOBEFISH. 2002c. European Fish Price Report 04/2002. Rome. 16 pp.

FAO/GLOBEFISH. 2002d. Fish roe in Europe: supply and demand conditions, by M. C. Montfort. FAO/GLOBEFISH Research Programme, Vol. 72. Rome. 47 pp.

FAO/GLOBEFISH. 2003. Seafood Highlights. Rome. 28 pp.

Farwell, C. J. 2001. Tunas in captivity. In B. A. Block & E. D. Stevens, eds. Tuna: physiology, ecology, and evolution. Academic Press, San Diego.

FDA. 2001. An important message for pregnant women and women of childbearing age who may become pregnant about the risks of mercury in fish. Consumer Advisory, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Washington, FDA. (available at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~acrobat/hgadv1.pdf).

FDA and EPA. 2003. Draft advice for women who are pregnant, or who might become pregnant, and nursing mothers, about avoiding harm to your baby or young child from mercury in fish and shellfish. Consumer Advisory. Washington, FDA and EPA. (available at http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/mehgadvisory1208.html & at http://map1.epa.gov/)

Gillett, R., McCoy, M. & Itano, D. G. 2002. Status of the United States western Pacific tuna purse-seine fleet and factors affecting its future. Pelagic Fisheries Research Program. Honolulu (HI), USA, JIMAR. 64 pp.

Gosliner, M. L. 1999. The tuna-dolphin controversy. In J. R. Twiss & R. R. Reeves, eds. Conservation and management of marine mammals. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington.

Harada, Y. 2002. Tuning tuna. Samudra 33:32-34. (available at http://www.icsf.net/jsp/publication/samudra/pdf/english/issue_33/art07.pdf).

Health Canada. 2001. Advisory (29 May 2001) - Information on mercury levels in fish. (available at http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/english/protection/warnings/2001/2001_60e.htm).

IATTC. 2004. Annual report of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission 2002. La Jolla, California, USA.

INFOFISH. 2001. Info fish Trade News. 21/2001. Kuala Lumpur, INFOFISH.

INFOFISH. 2003a. Info fish Trade News. 18/2003. Kuala Lumpur, INFOFISH.

INFOFISH. 2003b. Info fish Trade News. 23/2003. Kuala Lumpur, INFOFISH.

Joseph, J. 1994. The tuna-dolphin controversy in the eastern Pacific Ocean: biological, economic, and political impacts. Ocean. Development Inter. Law, 25 (2): 1-30.

Joseph, J. 2003. Managing fishing capacity of the world tuna fleet. FAO Fisheries Circular. No. 982. Rome.

King, D. M. 1987. The U.S. tuna market: a Pacific Islands perspective. In D. Doulman, ed. The development of the tuna industry in the Pacific Islands region: an analysis of options. Pacific Islands Development Programme. Honolulu, USA.

King, D. M. 1987. Global tuna markets: a Pacific Islands perspective. In D. Doulman, ed. Tuna Issues and Perspectives in the Pacific Islands Region. Pacific Islands Development Programme. Honolulu, USA.

Lehodey, P. In press. Impacts of El Niño Southern Oscillation on tuna populations and fisheries. Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Noumea.

Lehodey, P., Bertignac, M., Hampton, J., Lewis, A. & Picaut, J. 1997. El Niño Southern Oscillation and tuna in the western Pacific. Nature, 389 (6652): 715-718. London.

Lischewski, C. 2002. The U.S. market for canned tuna. In S. Subasinghe & P. Sudari, eds. Global tuna industry situation and outlook: resources, production & marketing trends and technological issues. Proceedings of the Tuna 2002 Kuala Lumpur, 7th INFOFISH World Tuna Trade Conference. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 30 May-1 June, 2002, pp. 87-93. Kuala Lumpur, INFOFISH. 208 pp.

Miyake, P. M., Miyabe, N. & Nakano, H. 2004. Historical trends of tuna catches in the world. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. No. 467. Rome.

Miyake, M. P. In press. International marketing of farmed tuna. Prepared for the GFCM/ICCAT Working Group on Sustainable Tuna Farming Practices in the Mediterranean. Rome, FAO. 11 pp.

Monastersky, R. 1999. Cousin of El Niño haunts Indian Ocean. Science News, 156 (13): 196. (available at http://www.sciencenews.org/sn_arc99/9_25_99/fob1.htm).

Neogen Corporation. 1998. Veratox ® for histamine. (available at http://www.neogen.com).

NMFS. 2003. NMFS Foreign Trade Information. Washington, NMFS. (available at http://www.st.nmfs.gov/st1/trade/index.html).

Parker, R. W. 1999. The use and abuse of trade leverage to protect the global commons: what we can learn from the tuna-dolphin conflict. Georgetown Inter. Environ. Law Rev., 12 (1): 1-123.

Saji, H. H., Goswami, B. H., Vinayachandran, P. N. & Yamagata, T. 1999. A dipole mode in the tropical Indian Ocean. Nature, 401 (6751): 360-363. London.

Sakagawa, G. T. 1991. Are U.S. regulations on tuna-dolphin fishing driving U.S. seiners to foreign-flag registry? North Amer. Jour. Fish. Manag., 11 (3): 241-252.

Tamate, J. 2000. The Tuna industry in the western and central Pacific: recent developments. In S. Subasinghe & P. Sudari, eds. Tuna 2000 Bangkok. Papers of the 6th World Tuna Trade Conference. Bangkok, Thailand, 25-27 May 2000, pp. 54-69. Kuala Lumpur, INFOFISH. 234 pp.

Tanabe, R. 2000. The Tuna market in Japan. In S. Subasinghe & P. Sudari, eds. Tuna 2000 Bangkok. Papers of the 6th World Tuna Trade Conference. Bangkok, Thailand, 25-27 May 2000, pp. 96-101. Kuala Lumpur, INFOFISH. 234 pp.

US DOL. 2003. American Samoa economic report. Washington DC, DOL. (available at http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/AS/toc.htm).

Webster, P. J., Moore, A. M., Loschnigg, J. P. & Lebon, R. R. 1999. Coupled ocean-atmosphere dynamics in the Indian Ocean during 1997-98. Nature, 401 (6751): 356-360. London.

WTO. 2001. Trading into the future. Geneva, WTO. 68 pp. (available at http://www.wto.org/english/res_e/doload_e/tif.pdf).

WTO. Online. Mexico etc. vs. U.S.: tuna-dolphin. Geneva, WTO. (available at http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/envir_e/edis04_e.htm).


[52] The term poutargue or bottarga comes from the Arab bot-ah-rik, which means "raw fish eggs". It comes mainly from mullet and tunas, and, despite the tuna poutargue or bottarga being less delicate than its mullet equivalent, it is nevertheless an estimed delicacy. It is prepared by extracting the eggs from the fish while still in their protective sacs, washing and purifying them, putting them in salt, rinsing them and drying them in storage rooms. Bottarga is sold in pieces, i.e. unbroken sacs, and may be vacuum-packed. It is also possible to find bottarga paste, i.e. grated dried bottarga packed in glass jars or vacuum-packed bottarga slices (FAO/GLOBEFISH 2002d).
[53] On 22 March 2004, the FDA and EPA issued a new advisory acknowledging the low concentration of mercury in canned light meat tuna, but at the same time recommending pregnant, pregnant-to-be, nursing women and young children not to exceed the consumption of canned albacore to six ounces (one average meal) per week. In fact, according to FDA, albacore has a higher mercury concentration than other tunas.
[54] 100 g of Rio Mare solid pack canned yellowfin in brine (drained weight), provide 123.50 kcal energy, 25.5 g protein, 0 g carbohydrate and 1.5 g fat. They contain 3 mg vitamin B12 (300 percent of RDA, Recommended Dietary Allowance) and 11.2 mg niacin (62 percent RDA). They also contain 182 mg phosphorous (22 percent RDA) and 50 mg iodine (33 percent RDA). 100 g of Conservas Antonio Alonso solid pack canned albacore in olive oil (drained weight) provide 182.5 kcal energy, 24.7 g protein, 0 g carbohydrate and 9.3 g fat. 100 g of solid pack canned Atlantic bluefin in extra-virgin olive oil (drained weight), produced by the Tonnara di San Cusumano for SMA-Auchan, provide 242 kcal energy, 24.5 g protein, 0.1 g carbohydrate and 16 g fat.
[55] Sources: WTO at http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/envir_e/edis04_e.htm, http://www.atuna.com and James Joseph (pers. comm.).
[56] 162 758 tonnes, according to EUROSTAT data.
[57] 158 315 tonnes, according to EUROSTAT data.
[58] The FISHSTAT Plus entries "tuna loins and fillets, fresh and chilled" and "tuna loins and fillets, frozen" refer to filleted fish for direct consumption. Imports of tuna loins and fillets increased from 238 tonnes in 1976, equivalent to US$123 000, to 19 658 tonnes in 2001, equivalent to US$113 million (FISHSTAT Plus data). The principal importer was Japan, and the principal exporter was Spain (FISHSTAT Plus data).
[59] Also the quality of products improved markedly by improved infrastructure of fishing countries and transportation.
[60] 12 567 tonnes as according to EUROSTAT.
[61] Really, American Samoa.
[62] The BFSD is not mandatory for live bluefin trade.
[63] Available (restricted access) at http://www.globefish.org.
[64] Through their publications INFOFISH Trade News (ITN), INFOPÊCHE Trade News African Edition (ITN African Edition) and INFOPESCA Noticias Comerciales (INC) and through personal communications.
[65] Mostly fresh and chilled.
[66] In the case of bluefins, ITN has rarely provided prices on either wild-caught or farm-raised fish.
[67] Indonesia is the main exporter of fresh and chilled bigeye to Japan (Japanese Customs data).
[68] Indonesia is the main exporter of fresh and chilled yellowfin to Japan (Japanese Customs data).
[69] More information on this is provided in the subsection The market for sashimu-grade tuna in the section Conclusion.
[70] Spain is also a major importer of frozen pre-cooked loins. Spanish imports of loins increased from 5 917 tonnes in 1994 to 19 355 tonnes in 2000, declined to 6 294 tonnes in 2001 and then increased to 13 309 tonnes in 2002 (EUROSTAT data).
[71] Due to the large size of the fish (50 kg) and the origin (Indian Ocean), the prices reported between mid- late 2003 seem to apply to frozen raw material for preparation of superior-quality canned tuna. In fact, while most mass producers of canned tuna in Italy seem to utilize frozen pre-cooked loins as raw material for canning, luxury lines and artisanal brands still rely on the traditional whole raw materials.
[72] Since October 2002 European prices of canned tuna have been made available only for tuna in oil.
[73] In the United States the standard capacity of tuna cans has been reduced various times; therefore, the data referring to the United States' markets apply to 6.5-oz (184 g) cans until August 1991, to 6.125-oz (174 g) cans until September 1998 and to 6-oz (170 g) cans until the present.
[74] Each import, export or production figure must be multiplied by its conversion factor to obtain its live-weight equivalent for comparison with the catches (in live weight) of the same year. Conversion factors are given in Table 1.
[75] See above reference.
[76] Conversion factors are given in Table 1.
[77] BFSD was introduced in 1993.
[78] Conversion factors are given in Table 1.
[79] All import figures in this sub-chapter are live-weight equivalents.
[80] See section Analysis of the factors affecting tuna catches and section Selection of key prices and price series analysis, subsection Whole raw material for canning.
[81] In at least some areas of the world, such as North America, the demand for canned tuna appears to be affected more by issues such as animal welfare or methyl mercury (see subsections Health and safety and Animal welfare concerns: the tuna-dolphin issue of section Tuna industry analysis).
[82] The decline in imports (and prices) of canned tuna during 1989-1990, driven by the decline in imports by the United States, was a result of the tuna-dolphin issue.
[83] The 2001 catches are estimated.
[84] There were also periods of lower captures, such as 1996.

Previous Page Top of Page Next Page