Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Ban Supported by Fishing Commission Scientists' Data

For at least the past eighteen months there have been consistent cries that a fishing ban on Atlantic bluefin tuna was required to prevent the iconic species being relegated to extinction. Now, scientists at the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas say (finally) that position is supported by data indicating the species has declined so much it should be listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species:

ICCAT scientists just met in Madrid to assess current stock levels and found that the current spawning biomass is less that 15% of historical levels.

Only a Fishing Ban Can Save Bluefin
Greenpeace and WWF hailed the announcement. Dr Sergi Tudela from WWF Mediterranean said, "What's needed to save the stocks is a suspension of fishing activity and a suspension of international commercial trade -- this is the only possible package that can give this fish a chance to recover."Only a Fishing Ban Can Save Bluefin From Extinction
Greenpeace and WWF hailed the announcement. Dr Sergi Tudela from WWF Mediterranean said, "What's needed to save the stocks is a suspension of fishing activity and a suspension of international commercial trade -- this is the only possible package that can give this fish a chance to recover."

In recent months a number of nations followed the Monoco's lead in supporting listing Atlantic bluefin under CITES, to be implemented at the next meeting in March 2010.

ICCAT Should Act Before CITES Meeting
Citing this latest official finding, WWF and Greenpeace are calling on ICCAT to act before this meeting and impose a zero quota for Atlantic bluefin at their next meeting, which begins on November 6th.

Last year ICCAT failed to restrict quotas at all, despite pressure from conservation groups and numerous scientists presenting the fishing commission with data on the precarious stat of the fish stock.

photo: Alexandre Dulaunoy via flickr.
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Tags: Endangered Species | Fishing | Oceans

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