Oceana believes the Parliament approval of a bluefin tuna reserve south of Balearic Islands is positive but insufficient

The Parliament approved the Early Day Motion (EDM) presented by MP Joan Herrera (ICV) after including an amendment that weakens the effects of the original proposal.

Press Release Date: December 17, 2013

Location: Madrid


Oceana Web | email: webadmin@oceana.org | tel.: 202.000.0000

Oceana is confident that the contents of this proposal will be fully adopted by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT)

The Early Day Motion (EDM) recently presented in the lower chamber of the Spanish parliament by Joan Herrera, MP and spokesman for Iniciativa per Catalunya Verds (ICV), was debated and approved  in the Parliament’s Environment, Agriculture and Fishery Commission.

The contents of the EDM urged the Spanish government to establish a Sanctuary for Bluefin Tuna South of the Balearic Islands. The political groups represented in the chamber voted unanimously in favour of this proposal. An amendment, however, negotiated between the PSOE and PP and included in the proposal, has reduced the closure of fishing activities within the reserve, limiting it to the reproductive season.

Oceana, in collaboration with the Marviva Foundation, carried out an expedition last summer on board the “Marviva Med” to supervise the bluefin tuna fishery. The international marine conservation organisation believes that, given the situation of bluefin tuna stocks and the importance of this area, industrial fishing of this species must be completely closed in the area proposed as a reserve.

Xavier Pastor, Executive Director of Oceana in Europe, stated, “we are confident that this proposal, now partially backed by all the political parties, constitutes another step in the acknowledgement of this reserve by the EU and the establishment of a formal proposal by ICCAT to declare it a sanctuary ”.

Xavier Pastor added, the unanimous approval achieved today in the Parliament offers a ray of hope for the creation of a marine reserve to protect bluefin tuna in the Balearic Islands. The Spanish government must exercise its leadership in fishery policies in the EU to officially present the proposal to ICCAT for the creation of a marine reserve as approved by the Chamber of Deputies.”