UK tuna importers were bracing themselves for price increases as the cost of raw material for skipjack continued to rise.
Hopes the Indian Ocean would produce better fishing were dashed as catches remained poor. More canneries announced shutdowns, and production in others was down 30%. Fishing in both the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean has been bad for an unprecedented length of time. However, experts refute any suggestion of over-fishing.
“It’s due to sea temperature changes causing fish to shoal deeper. They are harder to find,” said one vessel owner.
That may be the optimistic view. Current catches are of small, juvenile fish which usually indicate over-fishing.
Reports of delayed shipments and contract cancellations are circulating.