Taking tuna out of the can

Publication - 19 December, 2007
Tuna is one of the world’s favourite fish. It provides a critical part of the diet for millions of poor people, as well as being at the core of the world’s luxury sashimi markets. But global tuna stocks are under threat. Many tuna species are now listed as either endangered or critically endangered. In fact, global tuna stocks are disappearing.There is no end in sight to the global demand for tuna or to the pressure being brought to bear on developing coastal States to provide foreign fleets with access to their fisheries resources. While tuna access agreements are necessary and in some cases the only viable current option for some coastal States, it is unacceptable that these agreements lead to resource depletion, unfavourable terms and impoverishment for developing coastal States and a worsening situation for the poor in these countries. This report offers strategies for how coastal States faced with unsustainable agreements might turn their situation around. It shows how coastal States could increase their revenues from access agreements by reducing and controlling access to their tuna. It provides recommendations and principles for what could become fair tuna fisheries agreements. These proposals are an attempt to translate the rhetoric of sustainable development into concrete steps that will maximise the chances of reversing the global decline of tuna stocks, place the tuna fishery on a longterm sustainable footing, and deliver a more equitable outcome to coastal nations through the provision of local economic opportunities within their communities.

Captive Bluefin Tuna inside a transport cage.Greenpeace is calling on the countries of the Mediterranean to protect bluefin tuna with marine reserves in their breeding and feeding areas.

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Num. pages: 40