CITES Day 6

End of the Line for Bluefin Tuna?

The Atlantic Bluefin Tuna suffers from overexploitation in legal trade and significant illegal, unregulated and underreported fishing.

This afternoon, CITES Parties overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to give the species much-needed protection in international trade — 20 for, 68 opposed, 30 abstained.

Where is the precautionary principle? Where are the visionaries? Will CITES really wait until the species is commercially extinct before they act? Shame.

One man, perhaps more than any other, has made the plight of the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna his cause célèbre. Charles Clover, formerly of The Telegraph newspaper in London, brought the world’s attention to this magnificent fish through his book End of the Line, recently made into a powerful and compelling film. His reaction to the decision by the CITES Parties to reject the proposal from the Principality of Monaco to place the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna on Appendix 1 speaks for itself:

The Atlantic Bluefin Tuna is particularly vulnerable to overexploitation because it is a late maturing, low productivity species, with two to three years between spawnings.

We must give tuna a reprieve from overfishing or I fear we will have served up extinction on a plate.

Hoping for a better day on Sunday when the meeting reconvenes.

Blogging off,

Will

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