The movement to help preserve Atlantic and Mediterranean bluefin tuna from extinction -- something which could happen in just a few years at current catch levels -- just gained some high level support. WWF reports that the European Commission has backed a suspension of international trade, citing grave concern about the future of the species:In August the EC Directorate General for the Environment said,
From a scientific and technical point of view, the criteria for the listing of Atlantic bluefin tuna appears to be met. There is no doubt about the link between international trade and overexploitation of the species.
Specifically the EC agreed to a proposal -- which already has the public backing of Monaco, France and the UK -- to be be presented to European Union members that would list bluefin tuna on Appendix 1 on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). This would temporarily ban all international trade in Atlantic and Mediterranean bluefin tuna.
The EU, which votes as a single unit on CITES, the next meeting of which is in March 2010, will decide on September 21st whether to accept or reject the proposal.
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