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EU to protect bluefin tuna, but Italy says no

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Monday, 28 September 2009

EU to protect bluefin tuna, but Italy says no

The European Commission is increasingly inclined to ban Atlantic bluefin tuna fishing, thus supporting Monaco's proposal to list the species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) next March. Highly appreciated by sushi lovers and overfished for years, in Asia, especially in Japan, bluefin tuna prices can fetch up to $100,000 for a single fish. But the EU will not fully commit until its 27 member countries have been consulted on September 21 or before new scientific data emerges in November. "The European Commission shares many of the concerns expressed by Monaco about the state of stocks of Atlantic bluefin tuna," said a Commission spokeswoman. The main problem is caused by industrial vessels that use a purse seine net, which floats the top of a long wall of netting on the surface while its bottom is weighted under the water. Opposition has come from big tuna fishing nations such as Malta and Italy, whose Minister for Agriculture Luca Zaia has stated that bluefin tuna can't be considered an endangered species.

Source: Green Planet