Bluefin tuna ban collapses at UN

The EU became wobbly and Canada teamed up with Japan to knock this back. (Canada also managed to block a ban on trading polar bear fur because it would create problems for business. What the?) The arguments against the bluefin ban are ridiculous because the industry is already shattered. They’re arguing that it will damage a business that hardly has any life left because they’ve overfished and overfished leaving a fraction of the bluefin tuna left to hunt. Commercial fishing fleets never know when to stop fishing so it tends not to happen until nothing is left. At least in the past we could expect more common sense policies from Canada but those days seem to be gone as well.

The trade in Atlantic bluefin tuna will continue unchecked after the rejection yesterday of a proposed fishing ban that had been described by conservationists as the only way to save the critically endangered species from extinction.

Japan and Canada along with scores of developing nations succeeded yesterday in preventing any restrictions being imposed on the harvest of the fish, which is highly prized in sushi restaurants, on the grounds that a ban would devastate the world’s fishing economies. Delegates at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) in Doha voted by a margin of 68 to 20 against a proposal to immediately outlaw the sale of bluefin. A weaker measure supported by the EU, which would have introduced a ban in 2011, was also rejected by 72 votes to 43.

The decision puts one of the world’s most majestic fish in imminent danger of extinction. Stocks of bluefin, the largest and fastest of all tuna species, have declined to roughly 15 per cent of historic levels. Migrating shoals of the fish, which grow to up to three metres in length and have been likened to underwater Ferraris, are plundered each year as they pass through the Straits of Gibraltar to spawn in the Mediterranean.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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