Expert Opinion

Kaye, Rose & Partners, LLP




Water & Soil Quality Analyses, Aquaculture Company Audits, Aquaculture Due Diligence Work, Aquaculture Expert Witness


Tom Frese, Paddy Secretan
2012 - 2013


Tom Frese served as an expert witness for a capture-based tuna farming operation in Mexico.  Mr. Frese was hired to investigate a mortality incident and provide his expert opinion on the cause of death.  Activities included a site visit, investigative due diligence, inspection of tuna farming operations, water quality analyses, technical research, preparation of Expert Opinion, and advice to counsel and the client.  

Expert Opinion

The tuna farming site first experienced high surface water temperatures in July 2011.  These high surface water temperatures persisted and gradually spread deeper during August and September 2011.  The high water temperatures forced the captive tuna to seek relief by descending deeper in the cages in an effort to avoid heat stress and effectively created a barrier through which the compromised tuna would not ascend.  The environmentally-forced confinement of the tuna to the deepest areas of the cages, where water temperatures were mostly acceptable, exposed the tuna to a critically low and lethally low dissolved oxygen environment.  The environmentally-forced higher densities of tuna at depth, the significantly higher metabolic demand for oxygen of the temperature-stressed tuna, the high and increasing chemical oxygen demand of aerobic bacteria consuming the dead tuna at the bottom of the cage, and the incrementally higher metabolic demand for dissolved oxygen of the tuna during two isolated feeding events all resulted in unsustainable demands on the finite supply of dissolved oxygen within the constraints of the deep cage environment.  This deoxygenated environment was ultimately incapable of supporting the physiological requirements of the tuna and heavy mortalities ensued.