Paris, 22 November 2010 - Greenpeace France activists blocked a boat on the Seine River, on which the French Directorate of Fisheries invited delegates attending the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) meeting to a dinner cruise. Two Greenpeace inflatables have set up a floating line to prevent the barge leaving the dock, activists in canoes held banners directed at the barge and another was hung at the Pont de Grenelle, reading "Save the Bluefin Tuna Now." car with a bluefin tuna on top of it to the venue’s main entrance. Large numbers of police have now surrounded the activists and are trying to pull the banner down.
"We are here to remind delegates that they must save the bluefin tuna at this year’s ICCAT meeting,” said Francois Chartier, Greenpeace France oceans campaigner. “This is a final mayday call for tuna. ICCAT must act now to close the fishery."
Greenpeace is demanding that this year’s ICCAT meeting produce a decision to close the Mediterranean bluefin fishery and protect key spawning grounds for the species. This year’s ICCAT meeting comes after the further exposure of significant fraud and compliance problems in the bluefin trade, years of failure to implement the body’s own scientific recommendations and a revelation by Greenpeace of ICCAT documents that show as much as 10,200 tonnes of bluefin tuna remain alive in cages in Mediterranean tuna farms. This is close to the entire bluefin quota allocated for 2010. The majority of this tuna was caught in 2009 and remains unsold, raising serious questions about the need to fish for this endangered fish at all in coming years.
"The clock is ticking. The delegates confronted today clearly need to be reminded that the bluefin can and should be rescued from commercial extinction here and now," concluded Chartier.
Greenpeace is campaigning for a sustainable fishing industry and for a global network of marine reserves covering 40% of the world’s oceans, necessary steps to create healthy and living oceans.
For more information about Greenpeace at this year's ICCAT meeting, visit http://www.greenpeace.org/international/iccat