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22 Violations For Greek Purse Seiner Hired To Catch Bluefin Spain, May 28, 13

A Greek tuna vessel is being held in the Tarragona Port of L’Ametlla de Mar after harbor inspectors of the Directorate General of Merchant Marine charged the purse seiner with 22 serious violations, according to sources of the Dictorate.
The fishing season for bluefin tuna began last Saturday and ten vessels (nine French and one Greek) hired by the Spanish companies Balfegó Group (of Ametlla de Mar) and Ricardo Fuentes e Hijos (of Cartagena) were fined Euro 12,000 each because of entering the harbor without the required documentation.
The nine French vessels immediately paid the fine on Saturday, but the Greek seiner, with 22 serious violations, such as carrying expired explosives or holding deficient rescue equipment with deficiencies; a.o. its rescue boats and fire hydrants.
Therefore, nearly two hundred crew members could sail off on Sunday heading towards the Balearic Islands. Their target is to reach the fishing quota for bluefin tuna that the Balfegó Group has been assigned this year. The catch quota is for a total of 1,146 tons, which is 700 tons higher than last season, added to the purchasing quota assigned to French fishing vessels.
This year, the fishing quota for bluefin tuna in the eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean is 13,500 tons, of which 2,500 are allocated to Spain. Spain is the European country that has obtained the highest quota.
“Normally, we go the Balearic Sea and stay at about 100 miles, between the coast of Menorca and the peninsula” explained Balfegó’s CEO, Juan Serrano.
The schools of tuna that are moving from the North Atlantic are the targeted in this area. Once surrounded, the drivers will transfer the tuna to floating pools on which they will be transported to Ametlla de Mar within a month period. They will remain at the Ametlla de Mar offshore facilities located 2.5 miles from the coast until their marketing.
Japan is still the main market, though not the only one. Bluefin tuna is also exported to the United States and Korea.