Thursday, June 10, 2010

Med Tuna Fisheries closed!

Betcha you remember this!

Well, as I said, not all hope is lost!
The much-reviled European Fisheries Commission has closed the Mediterranean Tuna fisheries one week early - much like they did last year! The situation of the Northern Bluefin continues to be dire and the Gulf oil spill has likely made things even worse (read this!) - still, this is good news as it clearly illustrates the desire to enforce sustainable fisheries.
As is this - and I may add, very much contrary to these shenanigans!

The equally reviled ICCAT will meet in Paris this November, this after a host of preparatory meetings.
This is the body that has the mandate, and contrary to CITES, the know how to regulate the Atlantic Tuna fisheries. Members here. The fisheries in the Mediterranean are regulated by the GFCM - members here.

Has anybody started talking to them - inclusive of talking to Japan?
And even more importantly: is anybody stepping forward with ideas and funds aimed at mitigating the impact of possible quota reductions, especially when it comes to the poorer African and Caribbean countries - oh, and Greece? All whilst wielding the stick, as in leveraging development aid?

All kidding aside: has anybody learned the lessons of Doha and developed a realistic, and above all, unified strategy - or will the NGOs continue to be naive, badly prepared and fragmented, only to incur yet another inevitable defeat?

We shall see!


Diving Discoveries said...

Your post was fun to read and bursting at the seams with information.

The EU will deal with the economical impact this will have for European fisheries but as for other states, i.e. developing African countries... not so much.

So, the European Fishieries Commission has closed the Mediterranean tuna market in order to increase the popluation of Tuna.

Sure, so now we have to deal with the economic suffering... but if the EU is doing a piss-poor job and NGOS dont appear to have their act together, then what alternative do we have?

Thanks for the post

DaShark said...


There are two populations of Northern Bluefin and accordingly, two Tuna fisheries, of which the Western Atlantic one appears largely sustainable thanks to the efforts of the US, Canada, Mexico - and Japan!

The epicenter of overfishing is the Mediterranean and the principal contributing elements are: fleet overcapacity, industrial purse seiners, poaching and under-reporting and tuna ranching, along with inflated quotas.

The document (panel 69ff, pages 58ff) contains a whole host of recommendations, some of which drastic - and some of which, like the phasing out of purse seiners, are being implemented as we speak.

If I remember correctly, the bulk of the European countries were pro-Tuna and in favor of the CITES listing, with the bulk of the Mediterranean countries being against it and engaging in the most destructive practices.

Now, those same Mediterranean countries are broke and require bail-outs.
Could, say, pro-Tuna Germany link their help to better management of Tuna fisheries?

As to the poorer countries.
They don't appear to be the principal perpetrators and their artisanal fisheries should be allowed to continue.
Plus, they will require aid to combat the pirate fishermen - many of which hail from Europe, see!

Just some thoughts mind you.

But I'm convinced that the next ICCAT vote can be swayed in favor of sustainability - provided that dialogue with the voting nations starts early and that pragmatic arguments are being matched by tangible help.