Tuna supplier decries ‘foolish’ overfishing

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Growing tuna fishing fleets around the world are decimating tuna populations, advocates said during a Tuna 2014 conference last week in Thailand.

Tri Marine International president and CEO Renato Curto issued a rallying call during a keynote speech in Bangkok, saying that overfishing tuna populations was “foolish.”

“I feel that, in a few years, the number of vessels will have increased beyond the level that is sustainable and the scientists will tell us so, after the fact,” Curto said, according to Undercurrent News.

“The need for action is urgent. As an industry we need to stop talking and just do it,” said Curto, whose company is active in tuna catching, processing and trading and has turnover of more than $1.4 billion.

A price increase for tuna last year “meant many wanted to join the fun with more vessels being built. Now the price of tuna has halved and so has the value of those assets,” he said. “How can we make the industry more sustainable and responsible?”

Curto was followed by Glenn Hurry, an Australian scientist and the executive director of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.

“For some of you,” Hurry said, addressing an audience of the world’s top tuna executives, “selective deafness has become an art form.”