News / Economy

US Will Support Ban On International Trade of Bluefin Tuna

Bluefin tuna is highly popular in Japan, where much of it goes for sushi and sashimi.  Japan consumes some 80 percent of all bluefin tuna. It opposes the ban.
Bluefin tuna is highly popular in Japan, where much of it goes for sushi and sashimi. Japan consumes some 80 percent of all bluefin tuna. It opposes the ban.

Multimedia

The US announced on Wednesday that it will support a ban on  the international trade of Atlantic bluefin tuna.  The announcement comes prior to this month's meeting in Qatar of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wildlife Fauna and Flora (CITES). 

Atlantic bluefin tuna is being overfished and there are fears it could become extinct.  

Repeated attempts to allow the species to recover have failed under the pressure to supply a market willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a single fish.

Later this month, a proposal to ban the international trade of bluefin tuna will be debated by almost 200 countries that signed the UN convention on endangered species.
 
Rebecca Lent is in charge of International Affairs at NOAA Fisheries, the US government agency responsible for protecting the country's marine resources. "There were bluefin tuna in the good old days in Brazil but those stocks were fished out and they are gone," she said. "So it's primarily a north Atlantic species now."

The proposal would declare bluefin tuna so endangered that a ban on international trade in the fish is required. 

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has been sounding the alarm on bluefin tuna for decades.  "Since the 1970s, the western section of the stock, which is the US portion, has declined 82 percent," Roberta Elias, with WWF explained. "So there is only something like 41,000 adults remaining in that population. Some believe that population is stable in contrast to the eastern portion of the stock which is continuing to decline at probably lower population levels."

Bluefin tuna is highly popular in Japan, where much of it goes for sushi and sashimi.  Japan consumes some 80 percent of all bluefin tuna. It opposes the ban.
 
"We're trying our best to avoid having a ban enacted," Hirotaka Akamatsu, Japan's Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries said. Japan says it is urging European countries that export bluefin tuna to also oppose a ban.

Warm blooded bluefin tuna can live up to 20 years. Scientists hope the ban would allow bluefin to recover. But while international trade could be outlawed, officials say a robust black market could survive. To deal with the shortage, Japan has bluefin tuna farms. 

But there's a reason such farms are not more widespread, Lent said. "These fish are voracious eaters. In order for it to be economically profitable we are going to have to find some way to get cheaper food for fish.  The best way to deal with bluefin tuna fisheries really is to manage it well in the wild."

In addition to bluefin tuna, measures to protect sharks and coral will also be debated at the upcoming conference in Qatar.

You May Like

Scotland Vote Raises Questions of International Law

Experts say self-determination, as defined and protected by international law, confined narrowly to independence movements in process of de-colonization More

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

Conservationists hail ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015 More

Annual Military Exercise Takes on New Meaning for Ukraine Troops

Troops from 15 nations participating in annual event, 'Rapid Trident' in western Ukraine 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.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7768
JPY
USD
108.84
GBP
USD
0.6124
CAD
USD
1.0999
INR
USD
61.042

Rates may not be current.