New Bluefin Tuna Quota Levels Are A "Mockery of Science"


photo: NOAA

You may have read how a bit over a week ago a number of environmental groups were calling on the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (Iccat) to cut quota levels for bluefin tuna to protect that species from overfishing and collapse.

Groups' Recommendations Ignored
Well, in a move which has been called a "mockery of science" Iccat has not cut quota levels. The total allowable catch (Tac) for next year being maintained at 22,000 tonnes—seven thousand tonnes above the recommended level of 15,000 tonnes necessary to prevent collapse of the fishery. But that wasn't the only recommendation gone unheeded:

Conservation groups were also advising that fishing be banned outright during the spawning months of May and June, but Iccat reject that proposal as well.

"Icaat Doesn't Deserve to Manage This Species"
Sergi Tudela of WWF commented on the lack of action to the BBC:

The spawning closure was probably more important than the Tac issue because actually the Tac was never respected. It was the one thing that might have stopped overfishing. The decision is a mockery of science and a mockery of the world; Iccat has shown that it doesn't deserve the mandate to manage this iconic fishery.

The BBC also pointed out that the stock of East Atlantic bluefin tuna has fallen so quickly that there is a possibility of it being listed as an endangered species; the southern bluefin tuna is currently listed as critically endangered.

More at: BBC News
Bluefin Tuna, Overfishing
US Should Push for Bluefin Tuna Fishing Moratorium, Conservation Groups Say
Fishing Ban Enacted for Bluefin Tuna in Eastern Atlantic & Mediterranean
Overfishing Update: Endangered Atlantic Bluefin on the Menu at Nobu in London, EU to Reconsider Common Fishing Policy

Tags: Fish | Fishing | Oceans