Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Europe unites in attempt to protect bluefin tuna

Compromise deal with opponents of fishing ban welcomed 

90per cent of Europe's bluefin tuna is exported to Japan where the demand for sushi is huge  

By Martin Hickman, Consumer Affairs Correspondent

Europe is to throw its weight behind a campaign to save the bluefin tuna from decades of over-fishing after a breakthrough in talks in Brussels.

The European Commission announced a compromise deal backing an attempt to list the Mediterranean fish as an endangered species while waiting for further scientific evidence on the latest population numbers after the EU Fisheries Commissioner Joe Borg backed down.

Europe is now expected to vote as a bloc of 27 nations in favour of a proposal to protect bluefin tuna under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) which – if approved by a majority of 175 nations around the world – would ban all international trade in the fish.

Environmentalists expressed their delight at the issue, saying it represented the best chance of allowing the tuna to recover from intense demand in Japan, which imports 90 per cent of Europe's bluefin for sushi. …

Europe unites in attempt to protect bluefin tuna

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