European Union: NO to Tuna Ban

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September 22, 2009

The following is posted by Fred Fry:

I have been covering the efforts of the European Union to save Bluefin Tuna through declaring it an endangered species in a number of editions of Maritime Monday (gCaptain & ‘Tuna’).

Now comes word that member countries of the EU have scuttled attempt to save the tuna for the future in order to keeps the money flowing today:

The “Club Med” of southern European Union countries came under attack from environmentalists today for defying the campaign to ban trade in bluefin tuna, Japan’s highly prized sushi fish, whose stocks are dwindling dangerously low.

A fortnight ago the European commission agreed, after weeks of argument, to back a proposal from Monaco to ban trade in bluefin tuna. If the EU had voted for the ban at an international forum next March, fishing for bluefin tuna would have been effectively outlawed, at least temporarily.

Despite optimism that the ban, supported by 21 EU governments, would go ahead, the move was blocked at a Brussels meeting late yesterday by Malta, Cyprus, Spain, Italy, France, and Portugal. – The Guardian

This is not the first time that the EU has called for a ban on fishing tuna only to see member countries kill off the proposal, effectively pushing bluefin tuna closer to extinction. And it does not help the tuna one bit that most every nation is catching well over their quota of tuna. The Japanese have been doing so for about 20 years:

It was revealed in August that Japanese fishers and their suppliers from other countries plundered world southern bluefin tuna stocks, secretly catching up to three times the annual Japanese quota each year for the past 20 years. – Japan admits exceeding bluefin tuna catch

The Japanese Government did agree to reduce their catch to make up for their past indiscretions. Unfortunately, they did nothing to educe their consumption of tuna, instead importing the difference from the EU nations not fighting a ban.

Convenient, isn’t it.


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