Governments fail to protect bluefin tuna at CITES

Press release - 18 March, 2010
Greenpeace condemns the failure of governments meeting for at the CITES (Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species), to agree any measures to protect endangered Atlantic bluefin tuna.

Dead bluefin tuna underwater.

Speaking from the meeting, Greenpeace International oceans campaigner Oliver Knowles said:

"The abject failure of governments here at CITES to protect Atlantic bluefin tuna spells disaster for its future and sets the species on a pathway to extinction.'

"The failure of countries to support proper protection for Atlantic bluefin tuna means business as usual for those whose only interest in the species is short -term profit.

 "It leaves the future of the species in the hands of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, the very organisation responsible for the dire state of bluefin tuna stocks today.

"It is an own goal by Japan. By pushing for a few more years of this luxury product it has put the future of bluefin, and the future of its own supply at serious risk."

CITES delegates were forced to an early vote on the proposals to list the Species on Appendix I, when Libya tabled a motion to close the debate early. The majority of parties agreed to this which meant the proposals were voted on immediately.

Both the European Proposal for Appendix I with amendments and Monaco's orginal proposal for straight Appendix I listing were voted down. The vote followed several days of aggressive lobbying from the Japanese, who take close to 80% of Atlantic Bluefin exports for use as sushi.

Other contacts: Oliver Knowles, Greenpeace International oceans campaigner +44 7545 007 631 Sebastian Losada, Greenpeace International oceans policy expert (speaks Spanish), +34 626 998 254John Frizell, Greenpeace International oceans campaigner +44 7801 212 999 Garabed Kazanjian, Greenpeace Mediterranean oceans campaigner ,(speaks Arabic) +974 6205395
In Amsterdam: Jo Kuper, Greenpeace International Communications +31 646 16 20 39 Steve Smith, Greenpeace International Communications +31 6 4378 7359