News / Environment
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Mediterranean Bluefin Tuna Disappearing

Who will save the Bluefin Tuna

The Mediterranean Bluefin Tuna is on the way to becoming extinct due to over fishing in its territorial waters of the Mediterranean. This tuna species is meant to be protected by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), of which the EU plays a very active role. But since 2004 when the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) put extra attention on annually monitoring the Mediterranean fishing activity, they have calculated that fishing fleets have well exceeded the ICCAT total annual quota of 35000 tonnes.

WWF's calculations put the total combined catch of all fishing fleets in excess of 50000 tonnes annually. The WWF has requested that the EU step in and mandate a protected sanctuary for the Bluefin Tuna in the Balearic islands in the western Mediterranean. Since 2001, fishing fleets have seen their combined catch in the region of these islands fall from 14000 tonnes to just 2000 tonnes in all of 2006.

The Bluefin Tuna would come back in numbers in the Mediterranean if the EU strictly enforced the regulations with their combined navies and coast guards. If the Bluefin Tuna becomes extinct the EU will be no better at enforcing its regulations than was granted the sanctuary for the "Goddess of the Yangtze" - the Yangtze River Dolphin.

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