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VIET SEAFOOD

Tuna Thieves Caught On Camera

A local employee in the southern bluefin tuna industry has been fired after it was found the person was giving inside information about the industry to tuna poachers or tuna thieves.

The dismissal comes after calls from the industry last year for poachers to stop stealing from local tuna pens and the industry set up security cameras in hope of finding those responsible.

Australian Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association chief executive officer Brian Jeffriess said security cameras installed at tuna pens had identified a poaching boat.

He said the boat had agreed to stop poaching and, at this stage, had stuck to the agreement.

“One other poacher has left the district, and one other has had their license taken away,” he said.

“In one case, it was found that the poacher was being informed from inside the industry. The employee was dismissed and other potential employers (have been) warned about that individual.”

Mr. Jeffriess said the security cameras had deterred poachers to an extent.

“However, it is also clear that other deterrents are required, and these are being investigated,” he said.

“Poaching is a significant threat to that productivity, partly because the poaching activity frightens the tuna. The extreme weakening of the (Japanese) Yen has put substantial pressure on the industry, and the industry needs to maximize its productivity.”
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