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Fraudulent FAD Free Tuna Thought to be Circulating EU Market

16 February 2015

EU - Consumers are being told to watch out for tuna that has been falsely labelled FAD (fish aggregating device) free tuna.

Europêche, the main representative body speaking for the European fishing industry, says that some tuna products appearing on the EU market are falsely claiming to have been caught without the use of FADs.

Fish aggregating devices are floating objects that have been employed for hundreds of years in both commercial and recreational fisheries to improve methods when catching ocean going pelagic species including tuna.

FADs typically consist of bamboo rafts with buoys attached for its location that could be drifting in the ocean or anchored at the sea floor to improve fish catching methods.

According to a recent survey carried out by the European Parliament on the use of FADs in tuna fisheries, 11 out of 13 stocks of tropical tunas around the world are found to be at healthy biomass levels.

Europêche warns that the current proliferation of ‘FAD Free’ tuna on the EU market based on self-certification could be unregulated, fraudulent and highly misleading to the consumer.

Javier Garat, President of Europeche said: “International fishing fleets must be strictly controlled and monitored across the entire supply chain. Therefore, Europêche advises that FAD Free tuna should be only purchased from independently certified systems with a proper and transparent chain of custody in place.”

FADs are used for the vast majority of the tuna purse seine fleet and support thousands of livelihoods of coastal communities all over the world. In fact, 93 per cent of the recent tropical tuna catch came from healthy stocks and a high proportion (more than 65 per cent) of that came from fisheries using FADs.

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