CORRECTED: Bluefin tuna quota cut not enough: environmentalists

A A A

Environmentalists on Sunday warned bluefin tuna was on its way to extinction after a international meeting of fishery ministry officials trimmed catch quotas but upheld continued hauls of the fish, prized in sushi dishes.

"After meeting for 10 days, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) refused to end fishing for Atlantic bluefin tuna," the Pew Environment Group, a US organization that sat on in the meeting in Recife, Brazil, said in a statement.

"Instead, ICCAT set the catch limit for bluefin, considered the most valuable fish in the sea, at 13,500 tons," it said.

That is down from the 19,950-ton quota originally decided for 2010 in an earlier ICCAT meeting in Brussels in April this year.

The Pew Environment Group and other ecological outfits warned that bluefin tuna faced disappearance because of overfishing in the Mediterranean and Atlantic, mainly for lucrative markets in Asia, especially Japan.

Yearly quotas set up by ICCAT are systematically exceeded by industrial fleets. That and illegal fishing have caused the population to decline by more than 85 percent in the eastern Atlantic and by more than 90 percent in the western Atlantic.

Susan Lieberman, the head of international policy for the Pew Environmental Group, told AFP in a telephone interview that while a quota cut was a positive step, it was "too little too late" and was "not enough for even 50 percent chance of recovering the species."

"We were calling for a suspension" of all bluefin tuna catches for at least a year, or, failing that, a quota of "8,000 tons or less," she said.

"What they are doing is responding to economic pressures from the fishing industry. But in the long term there won't be a fishing industry," she said.

Other groups, including Greenpeace, were equally disappointed by Sunday's decision.

Marine biologist Carl Safina, president of the US-based Blue Ocean Institute, said before the Recife meeting that ICCAT was "the poster child for not only failure... but cynicism and a real unwillingness to get serious, be professional and listen to what the science has to say."

Environmental groups are now backing a call from Monaco for the issue of bluefin tuna to be taken before a March meeting of CITES, an international body that sets rules against illegal wildlife trade, with the aim of declaring the fish endangered and putting a ban on catching it.

ICCAT was set up in the late 1960s to conserve "tuna and tuna-like species in the Atlantic Ocean and adjacent seas," according to its website.

Forty-eight countries in every region of the world - ranging from Algeria, Barbados, China and France, to Ivory Coast, Japan, the United States and Venezuela - are contracting parties to ICCAT.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Health & Safety Consultant

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic and exciting opport...

Recruitment Genius: Project and Quality Manager

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is an independent ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Sales Executive - OTE £20,625

£14625 - £20625 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This role is for an enthusiasti...

Guru Careers: Financial Controller

£45 - £55k DOE: Guru Careers: A Financial Controller is required to join a suc...

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'