Bluefin tuna is one of the most endangered fish species on the planet, and yet it is the most expensive and in very high demand. With this bad combination – along with pressure from the industry and consumers – the European Union set out recently to set new quotas for each nation for how much tuna they could catch. Against the will of the Green Party, many citizens, various scientists, and many conservation groups, the EU put the quotas at 50% higher than the recommended tonnage.
A full explanation can be found here, and below is part of the Green Party’s statement:
The Green Party group in the European Parliament also lashed out at the decision. “The ICCAT quotas are a death sentence for the bluefin tuna,” said the Green Party MEP Raül Romeva, who attended the meeting. “It is completely unacceptable that the body responsible for managing stocks has set a TAC that is 50 per cent higher than the scientific advice. The EU had pressed for even higher catches. It is morally bankrupt for [the EU Fisheries] Commissioner Joe Borg to make noises about the need to conserve bluefin tuna before the ICCAT meeting, when the European community then proceeds to use strong-arm, bullying tactics to try to impose a maximum total catch two-thirds higher than the scientific advice.
“The EU has bankrolled the decimation of bluefin stocks by subsidising the new large fishing vessels that are responsible for overfishing, to the detriment of certain traditional fishing fleets. When the stocks are gone, the same ship owners who lobbied to overexploit bluefin tuna will come cap in hand for more EU money. This must not be allowed to happen.”