European Parliament plenary vote supports listing bluefin tuna as an endangered species
Brussels/Strasbourg, International - The European Parliament today confirmed its support for stricter protection of the endangered bluefin tuna. The Parliament urged the European Commission and EU member states to support listing bluefin tuna under appendix 1 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), effectively calling for a suspension of the fishery.
(Media-Newswire.com) - Brussels/Strasbourg, International The European Parliament today confirmed its support for stricter protection of the endangered bluefin tuna. The Parliament urged the European Commission and EU member states to support listing bluefin tuna under appendix 1 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species ( CITES ), effectively calling for a suspension of the fishery.
Greenpeace EU oceans policy director Saskia Richartz said: The Parliament has now added its voice to a growing list of calls to save bluefin tuna. The Commission has been astonishingly silent on the issue so far. Its dithering demonstrates shocking indecision just ahead of a major reform of EU fisheries policy.
In recent weeks a growing number of governments, institutions, scientists and stakeholders have declared their support for a suspension in the international bluefin tuna trade. Among these the government of France ( which has one of the biggest European quotas ), Italy, the CITES secretariat and an expert panel from the Food and Agriculture Organisation. Scientists from the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas ( ICCAT ) have also warned that this species is in danger of extinction.
The EU is expected to adopt a formal position on bluefin tuna before the CITES meeting in Doha on 13-25 March.
Scientists estimate that, at most, only 15% of the original tuna stock is left in the sea. About 80% of catches by EU fishermen go to the lucrative and sushi-hungry Japanese market. Most fish are caught in the Mediterranean spawning grounds by large industrial ships, making it harder for small-scale fishermen to compete. With large adult bluefin tuna becoming increasingly rare, one single fish weighing 201 kilograms ( 444 pounds ) was sold for a staggering $173,600 on the Tokyo fish market in January 2001. Contact information Saskia Richartz Greenpeace EU oceans policy director: +32 ( 0 )495 29 00 28, firstname.lastname@example.org Mark Breddy Greenpeace EU communications manager: +32 ( 0 )496 156229, email@example.com
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