Tuesday, November 25, 2008
The International Comission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas decided not to take any meaningful action to preserve bluefinn tuna stocks in the Mediterranean Sea. This against the scientific advice, that called for a quota reduction and, very specially, for a catch bane in the Spring spwaning season. The approved quotas (never actually respected) are 50% above what sicentists advise and the spawning season will remain pen for tuna fishing.
Apparently EU comissioners blackmailed and bribed less well off nations using trade deals so there was no effective action and the tuna catching fleet could persist with its criminal activities impunely. Ironically, Japan (main market) and Spain (a major catcher) had called for a total closure of the fishery but it seems other countries (I don't know but I can imagine the dark hand of France, always in favor of extremely industrialized and unsustainable fishing methods, in all this mess) have more of a say in what EU does and gets other to vote for.
Greenpeace and other enviromental groups criticised the decision as "mockery of science". The East Atlantic bluefinn tuna (known as "red tuna" in Spanish for the color of its flesh, very demanded in Japan specially) is severely threatened by overfishing, specially of immature animals that are then fattened in ad-hoc fisheries and could well enter soon the list of critically endangered species if this massacre is not stopped.
As European citizen, you can imagine that I am terribly ashamed and angry about such decissions. The fishing policy of EU is nothing but a criminal act of biocide, allowing bottom-trawling and all other those hyper-industrialized practices that drive our oceanic species to extinction, not just in European waters but also around the world. I wonder if democratic controls in the EU form of government (that so far are merely testimonial) could change things because at the moment the most powerful states (France specially) have too much influence in such self-destructive policies.
Source: BBC news: EU condemned on 'tuna mockery'.