Japan joy as blue fin tuna ban rejected – Fishupdate.com

Japan joy as blue fin tuna ban rejected Published:  19 March, 2010

THE entire Japanese nation was celebrating today after a proposal to ban trade in blue fin tuna, the mainstay of the country’s beloved sushi, was rejected.

Monaco had proposed the catching ban but it was rejected at a meeting of the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered species.

Environmentalists now believe that failure to act could virtually wipe out the species. Stocks of blue fin tuna have declined by 80 per cent in the past 30 years, according to statistics.

Monaco – a lot of blue fin is caught off its shores in the Mediterranean – claimed that the organisation responsible for managing the bluefin fishery – the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (Iccat) – had not implemented measures strict enough to ensure the species’ survival. But there was strong opposition from the Japanese Fish trade and Japan was also backed by Canada. Even Australia sat on the fence.

The ban was turned down on the grounds that a ban would devastate the world’s fishing economies. Delegates at the Convention Species in Doha voted by a margin of 68 to 20 against a proposal to immediately outlaw the sale of bluefin.

A second European Union proposal which would have introduced a ban in 2011, was also rejected by 72 votes to 43. It effectively means no change in the trade of blue fin tuna which will go on without any restrictions.The United States which supported and lobbied for the ban, also described the outcome as “disappointing”. US officials said they would be pressing governments to live up to promises to control fishing through Iccat.