New rules threaten tuna extinction

PRESS RELEASE

GENEVA–Environmental campaigners on Wednesday condemned a new agreement on bluefish tuna fishing quotas, warning that the species still risked extinction because the deal did not go far enough.

“The fishing quota agreed by the ICCAT is incredibly shortsighted,” said Francois Simard, of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

“It exceeds the recommended fishing level by 50 percent,” said Simard, the IUCN’s adviser on fisheries and maritime affairs.

He was reacting to a move Monday by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) to freeze fishing capacity at 2007-2008 levels.

It also decided to limit farming capacity in 2009 to 2007-2008 levels and cut them thereafter.

ICCAT members agreed to ban all imports or exports of bluefin tuna not covered from sources that were either a national or international vessel.

The European Commission said Tuesday this would mean that bluefin tuna fishing will have to be cut by 30 percent over two years in the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.

ICCAT, brings together 46 major fishing nations ranging from Japan to the United States and Norway, also agreed to set up peer-review system to make sure that eveyone was complying with the power to slap quotas on violators.

Other groups including the WWF and Greenpeace have already attacked the deal, saying it does not do enough to protect bluefin tuna stocks.

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Filed under animals, biodiversity, conservation, endangered, environment, environmentalism, extinction, nature, wildlife, zoology

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