February 18, 2010 Featured Article Read More →

EC to ban trade in tuna, porbeagle and spiny dogfish ?

The EC is proposing a negotiating stance of a near-total trade ban in bluefin tuna at the upcoming CITES meeting in Doha in a bid to save the fish from serious decline in the Mediterranean; it will also call for restrictions on trade in porbeagle and spiny dogfish shark. A weighted majority of EU member states must now agree the EU position.

The European commissioners for Environment and Fisheries will jointly present the proposal, bringing an end to weeks of wrangling between their departments over bluefin tuna. However, it’s only a proposal and the detail of the agreement is still being decided.

Stocks of Mediterranean bluefin tuna, a sushi staple, have plummeted since the 1960s. In 2007, the amount of bluefin tuna caught in the Mediterranean was 1,600 tones, 8% of the amount caught in 1964, according to an unpublished Commission paper.

There is firmer agreement for porbeagle sharks and spiny dogfish to be added to CITES appendix II, where trade is permitted under tightly controlled conditions.

Posted in: Shark Bites
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