Bluefin tuna in the Osaka Aquarium. Photo by Matana_and_Jes via flickr.
About a two weeks ago, we wrote about the bluefin tuna fishing ban hat EU fisheries regulators have enacted to prevent collapse of this valuable fish stock in the Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic. Apparently certain members of the French fisheries ministry value short term financial gain over long term economic and ecological sustainability.
France says fish stock figures not based "on facts"
From the BBC: French Fisheries Minister Michel Barnier told French weekly Le Journal de Dimanche that the commission which enacted the ban is using figures "based on estimates or projections more than on facts," and added that "only 52% of France's quotas were full."
This is countered by EU Fisheries Commissioner Joe Borg who said the commission was aware of eight French purse seine trawlers that had spent up to 21 days fishing since the start of the season, but had "so far declared no catches".
Short-term gain v. Long-term sustainability
You can read the whole back and forth in 'France in EU row over tuna catch' but the point it seems to me that the French fisheries minister is missing is that while it may be difficult financially for fishermen to lower their catches, if there is to be any catch at all in the future steps must be taken to make the fishery sustainable. Economic hardship will come now or at some point in the future. Measures to ease the blow to the fishing community, not ways to obfuscate catch numbers need to be taken.
Forgive me to likely preaching to the choir on this one...