Thursday, June 10, 2010

Bluefin Tuna: Mediterranean fishing closed early

Here's a post today from Mike at Beqa Adventure Divers regarding the Bluefin Tuna fisheries in the Mediterranean:

Med Tuna Fisheries closed!

Betcha you remember

Well, as I said, not all hope is lost!
The much-reviled European Fisheries Commission has closed the Mediterranean Tuna fisheries one week early - much like they did last year! The situation of the Northern Bluefin continues to be dire and the Gulf oil spill has likely made things even worse (read this!) - still, this is good news as it clearly illustrates the desire to enforce sustainable fisheries. As is this - and I may add, very much contrary to these shenanigans!

The equally
reviled ICCAT will meet in Paris this November, this after a host of preparatory meetings. This is the body that has the mandate, and contrary to CITES, the know how to regulate the Atlantic Tuna fisheries. Members here. The fisheries in the Mediterranean are regulated by the GFCM - members here.

Has anybody started talking to them - inclusive of talking to Japan?
And even more importantly: is anybody stepping forward with ideas and funds aimed at mitigating the impact of possible quota reductions, especially when it comes to the poorer African and Caribbean countries - oh, and Greece? All whilst wielding the stick, as in leveraging development aid?

All kidding aside: has anybody learned the lessons of Doha and developed a realistic, and above all, unified strategy - or will the NGOs continue to be naive, badly prepared and fragmented, only to incur yet another inevitable defeat?

We shall see!

I have written several posts in the past regarding the decimated bluefin tuna population, the commercial fishery agencies that have dropped the ball time and time again, and the international organizations that have caved in to pressure from countries where the market demand is high. But more meetings are coming. The big question is will anything change? Will something be done before we say "Sorry, Charlie" for the very last time and watch an important pelagic species fade into extinction?

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