Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Where Has All the Tuna Gone?

If I haven't been looking for tuna these past weeks I have been fielding questions from my customers about the scarcity of said tuna.

The perfect storm? While it seems that no single event has caused this supply problem a few combined may have made this inevitable. Mostly the evidence I present is purely anecdotal, so your comments are welcome.

  • Fuel prices: The rise in the dock prices of diesel have forced a hard decision upon some of the tuna boats. Faced with the possibility of filling up the tanks and returning to port with less than a full hold of fish many fishermen choose to stay in port longer and cut their losses.
  • Moon cycle; The current position of the moon and the effect it has on pelagic fish, as well as the bait fish it feeds upon makes finding large amounts of Tuna difficult.
  • Last month many Asian countries announced what amounts to a nearly 40% reduction in the size of their fleets. They did not however make plans to reduce consumption.
  • China comes on strong: Could the increase in disposable income and China's new interest in Japanese style sushi be re directing the tuna catch. And what about the Olympics?
  • And perhaps the most sobering possibility: we have fished it out.....
So if Tuna is on your menu, you may want to consider something else like mackerel, mahi, sword, or amberjack depending upon your application.

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