Monday, September 7, 2009

Bluefin Tuna: CITES endangered status could be its last hope

Some time ago, I posted information about actions taken by the ICCAT (International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna) regarding acceptable levels of commercially-caught Bluefin Tuna. The organization, which is supposed to be in charge of managing the fishery for much of the EU and the Mediteranean, settled on catch levels far above the recommendations of their scientific advisors. The Bluefin Tuna's future did not look good.

And apparently it hasn't gotten any better.

Monaco has proposed to CITES (International Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species) to list the bluefin tuna in their Appendix I of endangered species. In so doing, it would completely ban the international trade in Bluefin Tuna by CITES member nations. With commercial levels set above recommended levels of sustainability, combined with poor fishery management and illegal fishing, the Monaco proposal would seem to be a last and final step in trying to save the Bluefin Tuna.

Oceana's European office has sent a letter to several members of the European Commission's environmental and maritime branches to support the Monaco proposal. Hopefully, a CITES Appendix I listing will provide the Bluefin Tuna with the opportunity to replenish its numbers - if it's not too late.

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