Brussels backs bluefin tuna ban

Posted by Josette Dunn on 12th March 2010

The European Union has thrown its weight behind a ban on international trade in Atlantic bluefin tuna.

Member states have agreed to back a ban during next week’s meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), a spokesperson for the EU confirmed yesterday (11 March).

“Europe will support a ban on the trade of bluefin tuna until stocks recover,” the spokesperson said.

However, the EU is also backing exemptions for traditional fishermen and will call for the ban to be deferred for one year.

While the US has already given the ban its support, Japan has been resistant to any such move and may opt out of the CITIES agreement.

The move has been welcomed by environmental groups.

A spokesperson for the WWF told just-food that the support of the US and EU for a ban is a “significant development” that could help preserve stocks of bluefin tuns.

“Atlantic bluefin tuna stocks are at an all time low. It is encouraging that both the US and Europe have indicated their support for a trade ban, but it is vital that other countries follow suit,” the spokesperson said.

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