Tuna Wars pp 363-366 | Cite as

Tuna Conspiracies

  • Steven Adolf


Adam Smith, founding father of the free market, warned about it: as soon as businessmen join together, there is a big chance the consumer will pay a bill for the party. ‘People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices’, Smith writes in his famous Wealth of Nations [222]. Smith’s point was that businessmen can succeed in a ‘conspiracy against the public’ if they are given in one way or the other protection by government regulation. That was the case in the eighteenth century society, but in the new configuration of governance at the end of the twentieth century the weakening role of the state created space for other stakeholders in the market to promote this kind of protection. As we will see one of the new manifestations of this kind of protection of business were ‘supranational state-like regulatory mechanism that combines science with free trade and environmental ideals’ in certification schemes set up by NGOs to promote sustainable fisheries [61]. ‘Tuna is the debut for a great debate between environmentalists and traders’, a Venezuelan consultant for the tuna industry was quoted in the nineties. He proved to be right in many ways more than he probably ever could have imagined.


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    Atuna (2015) US big 3 face second price-fixing lawsuit. Accessed 10 Dec 2018
  4. 18.
    Atuna (2017) More US retailers join price-fixing legal fight. In: Accessed 10 Dec 2018
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    Atuna (2017) Walmart lists 50+ tuna execs as alleged conspirators. In: Accessed 10 Dec 2018
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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven Adolf
    • 1
  1. 1.AmsterdamThe Netherlands

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