Three lorries with 40 tonns of prized – and illegally caught- bluefin tuna were seized on Monday night in Civitavecchia as they were boarding the overnight ferry to Barcelona.
The Italian Coast Guard, in its single biggest seizure of all times, uncovered an international illegal trade originating in Sicily from a company already under investigation for its links with organized crime.
Labelled as lesser valued albacore, the catch would have escaped the strictly regulated system of quota set for bluefin tuna.
This shipment alone amounts to about 4% of the 1788 tonnes allocated to Italy in 2012.
More on the upcoming piece for the Financial Times, as Italy’s role in illegal fishing is being examined in Brussels.