EU Abandons Plans to Cut Critically Endangered Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Quotas


Japan is the destination for the majority of the world's bluefin tuna catch, photo: David Ooms/Creative Commons.

Kiss them goodbye... As reported by the Associated Press pressure from France, Spain, and other Mediterranean nations has forced the EU to abandon previously touted plans to significantly cut quotas on Atlantic Bluefin Tuna next year. At current fishing rates, where actual catch numbers are far about official quota levels, the iconic fish is expected to be extinct by 2012.

After drawn-out negotiations, the 27-nation EU abandoned a plan to seek cutbacks in fishing quotas based only on scientific advice and said Thursday it will now also consider the interests of tuna fishermen.

Though the EU is still considering a reduction of 2000 tons from current quotas, anything beyond that--including supporting an outright cessation of fishing, which many campaigners and scientists say is needed to allow the fishery to recover--is off the table.

Last year, when an international trade ban on the fish was considered by CITES, pressure from Japan, the world's foremost consumer of the bluefin (and corporate headquarters of Mitsubishi, which stands to make billions off the extinction of bluefin), prevented the ban from proceeding.


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More on Bluefin Tuna:
Mitsubishi Hopes To Profit From Bluefin Tuna Decline
Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Will Be Gone By 2012 At Current Fishing Rates
Bluefin Tuna Quotas May Be Substantially Reduced by EU Next Year
One-Fifth Of Juvenile Bluefin Tuna Killed by BP Oil Spill
Fraud, Criminal Misconduct and the $4 Billion Black Market in Bluefin Tuna

Tags: Endangered Species | Fishing | Oceans