The European Parliament has backed proposals to ban the trade in bluefin tuna in a bid to prevent the stock from being fished to extinction.
The vote in favour of a trade ban comes as the EU attempts to create a common position ahead of the upcoming CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) meeting in Qatar, on 13-25 March which will discuss the fate of more than forty endangered species including sharks and bluefin tuna.
Ultimately, it will be for national governments to decide the EU’s negotiating position at the CITES conference, based on a proposal from the EC. The European Commission has yet to submit a proposal, because its fisheries and environment departments have been split over a tuna ban; at the moment, 23 of the EU’s 27 member governments have come out in favour of a ban, including France and Italy.
However, MEPs want traditional fishing boats to be exempt from the trade ban and also called for EU money to be made available to crews that lose out from the ban; unsurprisingly, commercial fishing interests say “a trade ban would be illogical and unreasonable”.
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and the EU Parliament debate.