Last March, the CITES Convention was held in Doha, Qatar. Noting the rapid decrease of bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean, a bill to prohibit exports of Atlantic bluefin tuna was introduced. A silent war began around this coveted fish.
Japan was the most concerned about the export ban, consuming 41 tons of tuna a year. For the Japanese, tuna is an essential part of dining life. Japan quickly sent its Minister of Fisheries to Doha to lobby against the ban. Korea was also in shock. Tuna fishing has been an important industry that has brought in more than $300 million annually in foreign currency. If the bluefin tuna export ban is passed, other tuna could also be affected, shaking the foundations of the Korean fish industry. Who will win? Those who want to eat tuna or those who want to protect it?
Port Lincoln, the city with the most millionaires in Australia. Hagen Stehr, a major figure there, declared that the future of tuna was in tuna farming. Port Lincoln had nearly gone bankrupt because of a decrease in tuna catches but experienced a miraculous recovery after achieving tuna farming success. Japan also began studying tuna farming in 1985, succeeded in complete cultivation and is now selling cultivated tuna products. The true winner of the tuna wars will be decided by tuna cultivation. What about Korea? Korea has begun its own tuna farming with the revolutionary idea of open-sea underwater cultivation pens. With recent successes, Korea is the center of interest of tuna strongholds around the world.
Part 1 looks at the true value of bluefin tuna, the hot potato of the global tuna war. With the successful cultivation stories of Japan and Australia as a backdrop, Korea's current achievements in tuna cultivation are analyzed and future steps for success are discussed.