Oceana asks the Spanish Minister for the Enviroment to support the inclusion of bluefin tuna in CITES

In the next few days, the EU will decide whether to support the inclusion of bluefin tuna in CITES Appendix 1, prohibiting international trade of this species

Press Release Date: April 26, 2010

Location: Madrid


Marta Madina | email: mmadina@oceana.org | tel.: Marta Madina

In a letter addressed to Joe Borg, the EU commissioner responsible for fisheries and maritime affairs, Xavier Pastor, the executive director of Oceana in Europe, asked Spain to support the proposal to include bluefin tuna in the CITES convention on endangered species. In the last month, various Member States, including those with interests in bluefin tuna fisheries such as France, have publicly supported the inclusion of this species in Annex 1 of the convention, the most restrictive concerning species in danger of extinction.
The bluefin tuna population has quickly declined due to industrial and illegal fishing, placing it on the brink of commercial collapse. Over the last few decades, the population has fallen by approximately 75% and this is why Monaco has recently presented a proposal to include this species in Annex 1. If agreed, international trade in this species would be prohibited.
Xavier Pastor stressed the urgency and need for Member States to position themselves in favour of Monaco’s proposal: “Most of the bluefin tuna production is used for international trade and this is why it should be included in the CITES convention. Although this will not imply sustainable management of the fishery, right now it is the only alternative that will immediately impact the main cause of this species’ decline: the high demand in the international market.”

EU Member States are now in a common position concerning Monaco’s proposal. The countries will decide the immediate fate of bluefin tuna during the CITES conference of the parties that will take place in Doha in March, 2010.