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Mediterranean Nations Defer EU Decision On Bluefin Tuna Trade Ban; 'Blinkered Attitude'

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BRUSSELS, Belgium -- Opposition from Mediterranean governments at a meeting of EU national representatives in Brussels today has postponed a decision on whether to place bluefin tuna on an endangered species list and effectively ban its trade. EU environment ministers are now expected to reach a final position by the end of the year.

“The blinkered attitude of Mediterranean governments would drive bluefin tuna to extinction and leave fishermen with nothing to fish in just a few years. But countries like Malta and Spain are increasingly isolated and there is a growing will among EU environment ministers to save this beautiful animal,” said Saskia Richartz, EU oceans policy director at Greenpeace.

National experts on the EU’s management committee responsible for decisions on the regulation of trade in endangered species were unable to reach the necessary qualified majority to adopt the Commission’s recommendation to place bluefin tuna on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and consequently suspend the trade in this sashimi-grade tuna.

Greenpeace calls on EU environment ministers to listen to scientific advice and save bluefin tuna by supporting its listing as an endangered species.

To save other fish stocks from imminent collapse, Greenpeace also calls for a global network of fully protected marine reserves, covering 40% of our oceans. Marine reserves are essential to ensure clean and healthy oceans and protect marine life from overfishing and habitat destruction. Healthy oceans can also play a vital role in building resilience against the devastating effects of climate change.

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