Joint Policy Statement on Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Management

Press Release Date: November 16, 2010

Location: Madrid


Marta Madina | email: | tel.: Marta Madina

November 2010. Greenpeace, Oceana, the Pew Environment Group and WWF call upon member governments of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) to immediately protect the severely depleted Atlantic bluefin tuna. Over 30 years of mismanagement and illegal fishing, along with negligent reporting, fraud, and a disregard for science has resulted in an estimated decline in Atlantic bluefin tuna populations of up to 85 percent since 1970.

In the eastern Atlantic, fraudulent reporting and a blatant disregard for catch limits have contributed to a thriving bluefin tuna black market, valued at $USD4 billion between 1998 and 2007. In the West, populations are classified as “critically endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and have yet to recover, 30 years after their collapse.

There is unfounded optimism on the part of some fishing countries in the Mediterranean that the status quo will result in the recovery of this species. Yet, as bluefin fishermen in the Western Atlantic can attest, ICCAT’s “status quo management” has done nothing but maintain population levels at 15 percent of their former levels. Greenpeace, Oceana, the Pew Environment Group and WWF call upon ICCAT member countries to take the only responsible course of action:  close the industrial purse seine fishery and farming activity in the eastern Atlantic at a minimum, protect bluefin tuna spawning grounds in the Mediterranean Sea and Gulf of Mexico and adopt comprehensive precautionary management measures that comply with international legal commitments.

About Greenpeace,

Greenpeace is an international campaigning organization that acts to change attitudes and behavior, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. It comprises 28 independent national/regional offices in over 40 countries across Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, as well as a coordinating body, Greenpeace International.

About Oceana,

Oceana campaigns to protect and restore the world’s oceans. Oceana is an international team of marine scientists, economists, lawyers and advocates, that with a global perspective, is achieving specific changes in legislation to reduce pollution and prevent the irreversible collapse of fish stocks, protect marine mammals and other forms of marine life.

About Pew Environment Group,

The Pew Environment Group is the conservation arm of The Pew Charitable Trusts, a non-governmental organization that applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and stimulate civic life.

About WWF,

Why we are here. To stop the degradation of the planet´s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.