EU Backs total ban on bluefin tuna trade to stave off species collapse10/09/2009 15:07:34
European Commission backs bluefin tuna trade ban - WWF urges EU member states to follow
September 2009. The European Commission has given its backing to a suspension of international trade in endangered Atlantic and Mediterranean bluefin tuna - expressing grave concern regarding the status of the species, which is under threat of collapse from commercial overexploitation. WWF welcomes the decision and now urges European Union national governments to follow this lead.
Proposed listing on CITES appendix 1
"Commissioners Dimas and Borg have made the right choice leading the EU to heed urgent scientific advice that Atlantic bluefin tuna is dangerously close to collapse and needs a break," said Tony Long, Director of WWF's European Policy Office in Brussels. "Some EU Member States have already joined the call to temporarily ban international trade in Atlantic bluefin - and WWF now urges other countries to follow the European Commission's lead and back the trade suspension."
EU countries will decide whether to accept or reject this proposal by the European Commission at a meeting on 21 September of the CITES Management Committee. The EU votes en bloc at CITES, whose next Conference of the Parties is in Doha, Qatar in March 2010.
The European Commission's Directorate General for the Environment had recommended in August, in a draft report, that "from a scientific and technical point of view, the criteria for the listing of Atlantic bluefin tuna appear to be met. There is no doubt about the link between international trade and overexploitation of the species."