Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Video: Far right at the gates of power in Austria

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE 24 turns 10: A look behind the scenes

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Gambia's Yahya Jammeh concedes defeat in presidential polls

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Gambians herald 'new independence' after Jammeh defeat

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Hollande, the One Term President (part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Trump Keeps 'Em Guessing, Italian Referendum, Austrian Election, Castro's Death (part 2)

Read more

FASHION

Discovering the winter 2016/2017 men's fashion collections in Paris

Read more

ENCORE!

Rendez-vous on '42nd Street' as the meta musical comes to Paris

Read more

REPORTERS

Uzbekistan reinforces its tight grip on election and country

Read more

REPORTERS

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 9.10 pm Paris time. And you can watch it online as early as Friday.

Latest update : 2010-04-19

Blufin tuna fishing continues in Japan

The Japanese cannot get enough of this endangered fish. Despite international pressure, Japan has managed to hold off a ban on bluefin tuna fishing. From the markets of Tokyo to the traditional fishing ports, France 24 investigates a country torn between ecological concerns and the tastes of its consumers.

At the end of March, after an intense lobbying campaign, Japan successfully prevented a ban on the Mediterranean and East Atlantic bluefin tuna trade. The challenge was huge, since the country consumes 80% of the bluefin tuna caught worldwide.

This trade is mainly conducted by mass retailers. They buy huge amounts of bluefin tuna, which is stored in freezers until it is commercialised. These stocks allow retailers to guarantee steady supply and low prices. This is how bluefin tuna changed from a delicacy into a common meal.

Still, this situation does not benefit everyone in Japan. In order to cut costs, big companies and mass retailers trade directly with industrial fishing companies. Mass retailers buy huge quantities from these producers and then sell the fish at low prices, so they are able to move enormous volumes of tuna. Growing competition from mass retailers is threatening local fish markets’ bluefin tuna middlemen. Fishermen are also threatened. Those using traditional fishing methods, such as trolling lines, cannot compete with large-scale net fishing. The price they are offered for their fish also declines and so do their incomes.

But Japanese authorities are also working on long-term solutions. Worried by the country’s low food sufficiency ratio, they have invested in research for years. This is how a Japanese university became the first to develop completely farm-raised bluefin tuna: scientists there raise eggs of farmed tuna. This could become an alternative to large-scale fishing, which is accused of depleting bluefin tuna resources. But for now, this programme is having trouble growing fast enough to meet Japan’s huge appetite for bluefin tuna...

By Nathalie TOURRET , Julien ALRIC

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2016-12-01 Asia-pacific

Uzbekistan reinforces its tight grip on election and country

Uzbekistan is holding a presidential election on Sunday that is going largely unnoticed abroad. The successor to the late president, Islam Karimov, who held power for more than a...

Read more

2016-11-25 Americas

Video: Venezuela close to breaking point

As Venezuela sinks deeper into political crisis, its economy is close to collapse. With hyperinflation, food shortages, malnutrition and extreme poverty, daily life for...

Read more

2016-11-18 paedophilia

Tracking a Church paedophilia case from Dakar to Quebec

Following a series of paedophilia scandals in the Catholic Church in recent years, FRANCE 24 reporters investigated the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, a Catholic religious...

Read more

2016-11-11 Iraq

Video: The journalists on the frontline in Iraq

Journalists embedded with the Iraqi army on the frontline battling the Islamic State group risk their lives every day to report on this must-crucial of wars. FRANCE 24’s team on...

Read more

2016-11-04 USA

Is the US overdosing on oil?

The oil industry has become an issue of debate in the US presidential election. While Republican candidate Donald Trump promises to extract even more oil and natural gas,...

Read more