Mediterranean states block tuna protection in fisheries talks

Press release - November 18, 2010
Brussels, International — EU member states late last night agreed a common negotiating position on catch quotas for Atlantic and Mediterranean bluefin tuna, as part of the continuing meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas.

Europe's position gives the populations a 60-77% stated chance of recovery by 2022. This corresponds to a catch quota of approximately 12,000-13,500 tonnes for 2011.

Greenpeace EU oceans policy director Saskia Richartz said: "Would you board a plane with only a 60-77% chance of arriving in one piece? The EU is gambling away the future of a valuable fish resource. It is ignoring scientific advice, EU rules on marine protection and advice from two commissioners, including the EU's chief fisheries official Maria Damanaki, who has called for substantial reduction in the tuna quota.

"This demonstrates the pitiful state of the EU's fisheries rules in general. Only three countries resisted pressure from France, Spain, Italy and Malta, whose fishing industries are benefiting most from the plunder of an endangered species."

The Netherlands, Sweden and Greece abstained from the vote, while countries like the UK, Germany, Denmark and Austria withdrew their opposition under pressure from France, Spain, Italy and Malta.