News / Europe

European Union Calls for End to Bluefin Tuna Fishing

Lisa Bryant

The European Union's executive arm is calling for a ban on commercial fishing for Atlantic bluefin tuna, giving a powerful push for an international treaty to that effect.  Such a move has drawn sharp protests, even as environmentalists applaud it.

The European Commission's recommendation for its 27 member states to support a ban against commercial fishing was widely expected.  Announcing the decision at a press conference in Brussels, European Union Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik said there is no other choice.

"What we sincerely believe, that what we are proposing, it is a responsible decision that goes in the direction to preserve not only the bluefin tuna but also preserve long-term sustainable fishery," said Janez Potocnik.

Prized by sushi lovers, especially in Japan, bluefin tuna has seen its numbers tumble in recent years to levels that environmentalists say put its future on the line.  Wendy Elliot is species program manager for the environmental group WWF in Gland, Switzerland.

"The state of Atlantic bluefin tuna today really is an absolute catastrophe," said Wendy Elliot. "We are seeing a historic decline in the order of 85 to 90 percent, which is huge, obviously.  And the driver of that decline has been severe overfishing, mostly for trade in particular to the lucrative markets in Japan."

If all the EU nations sign on to the commercial fishing ban, Elliott believes it will improve chances of putting bluefin tuna on what is known as Appendix I of a U.N. convention on international trade in endangered species, known a CITES.  That listing would effectively ban international trade in the tuna.  A key CITES meeting is scheduled for next month.

And chances look good for broad EU support for such a ban, because key players Italy and France have recently thrown their weight behind it.  But the European Union wants to try out a temporary ban on tuna trade before adopting permanent measures.

European tuna fishermen strongly oppose a bluefin tuna fishing ban, and Japan, which accounts for three-quarters of bluefin tuna consumption, says it will not recognize a ban and wants other protection measures adopted.   

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid