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EU Shows Commitment to Bluefin Conservation

by the Fish Site Editor
06 April 2009, at 1:00am

EU - Today the EU Council adopted a Regulation to transpose into Community law the new multi-annual recovery plan for Eastern bluefin tuna adopted by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) at its annual meeting in Marrakech, Morocco, in November 2008.

An EU press release says that it is crucial that this plan is implemented by all ICCAT Contracting Parties this year for the main fishing season which will start on April 15.

“I am pleased that Council and Parliament made a major collective effort to have this Regulation adopted in record time. It is crucial that the recovery plan is applied to this year's fishing season by all the actors in this fishery. If implemented correctly, it is the best guarantee of protection for bluefin tuna and a chance to recover from the overfishing that has been taking place for too long.

"I would urge all other ICCAT members to take the same action, so that the efforts of some are not undermined by others. We need to act together in a responsible manner if we are really committed to the future of the bluefin tuna fishery", said Joe Borg, European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries

. The European Commission has announced a strict, zero-tolerance approach to implementation of the ICCAT recovery plan. European operators will not be allowed to work with vessels or farms from other ICCAT Contracting Parties which are not fully implementing the plan. In particular, joint fishing operations involving Europeans vessels and placing of bluefin tuna in European cages will not be allowed with respect to operations involving those Contracting Parties.

The European Commission is also launching actions aimed at bolstering cooperation between Mediterranean States to ensure the success of the bluefin tuna recovery plan.

the Fish Site Editor