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The bluefin tuna fraud

The sale of products in poor condition or illegal is being a headache for many and in this case we are talking about bluefin tuna fraud. Police, sellers, buyers and finally, consumers, are those who fight to have a good quality product at a good price.

But what happens when people try to sell an illegal product for different reasons? That all these people suffer directly or indirectly from the attacks of the illegal food market. The Red tuna it is not saved and there are markets where a product is sold that looks like something it is not. From infractions in the conservation chain to scams in the sale of it by dyeing it with beet juice.

Red Tuna scam
Red Tuna scam

Bluefin tuna (thunnus thynnus), is one of the tuna species in the Scombridae family. It is well known as Atlantic bluefin tunagiant bluefin tuna (for those individuals that exceed 150 kilograms) and formally as tuna. We are talking about one of the delicacies of Spanish gastronomy.

Chicote discovers a bluefin tuna in poor condition

Recently, in the program presented by Alberto Chicote called "Are you going to eat it?" the presenter visits a company in Murcia where they stored a large quantity of bluefin tuna. In this way, he reported the terrible conditions in which the fish was found.

Red tuna
Red tuna

Gemma del Cano, a pharmacist specializing in food safety, has spoken about the fraud of the Red tuna in Spain. It has indicated that there were tuna that did not meet the appropriate conditions by not maintaining the corresponding cold chain, very important in fish and deep-frozen. It was spending too much time at -9 degrees instead of -18 (which is the temperature that the tuna which is considered fresh). According to del Caño, being at this temperature favors the degradation of histidine to histamine at values ​​well above what is healthy. Consequently, this high amount can cause poisoning.

Traceability controls allow us to know the place of fishing, the weight, spice or also the way in which it has been fished. They are the labels or papers where the quality of the fish is demonstrated. Based on this, a price is generated, but what happens if we falsify this paper? This is what one of the interviewees in the Chicote program assures. In his statement he hints that they have been able to sell him fish in bad condition. All for having presented him with documentation that could be false.

Operation against bluefin tuna fraud

The magnificent work done by the Civil Guard has allowed that, after a long investigation, 79 people were arrested. Also up to 50 records in different addresses and companies to dismantle the network of sale of Red tuna illegal. The band went on to earn 25 million euros. This has been revealed by those responsible for Seprona, Europol and the General Secretariat for Fisheries to give an account of the details of the 'Tarentelo' operation. And most importantly: a total of  80.000 kilograms of bluefin tuna, a brutal amount. They were also seized high-end vehicles and jewelry, as well as about half a million euros in cash.

Bluefin tuna fraud
Bluefin tuna fraud

How to know if it is of good quality?

For the vast majority of consumers it is more difficult to detect whether a Red tuna it is of good quality or not due to lack of knowledge. Fishermen and sellers obviously do know the origin and veracity of the data that is printed in the quality control. Therefore, the first recommendation we give you from Great Products is that you look at the labeling of the fish.

You should know that the Tuna Catch Document (DCA) It is the one that will indicate the data. It must be present in all places, be it fishmongers or restaurants. In addition, you have the right to request it and request information about the fish that you are going to consume. So make sure that the fish, in this case the Red tuna, has guarantees to protect your health.

If you detect any type of bluefin tuna fraud or you suspect that such a crime is being committed with another product, the smartest thing to do is report it to the relevant authorities. The whole chain will thank you.