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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

Alaskans experiencing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more frequent and extensive wildfires, deteriorating glaciers, and swift shoreline erosion More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8874
JPY
USD
120.83
GBP
USD
0.6497
CAD
USD
1.3271
INR
USD
66.162

Rates may not be current.