the presence of an unusually high number of bluefin tuna off the western coast of Ireland has invited a large fleet of Japanese tuna boats and a lot of trouble. Ireland's tiny maritime patrol fleet had to employ everything in its means to keep the Japanese tuna boats off its waters. Tension reached a peak towards the end of last month when the Irish patrollers seized two Japanese vessels for suspected illegal fishing.
The influx of Japanese vessels in Irish waters has been due to unusually warm water temperatures which have attracted shoals of bluefin tuna away from their seasonal Atlantic feeding grounds off the Bay of Biscay. The Japanese boats come with sophisticated radar to track the fish and long lines instead of nets to trap fish of the best quality, required for Japan's sushi , or raw fish market. Alarmed by these incidents, the Irish fisherfolk have requested the government to reconsider its support for the European Union's fishing quota policy.