Damanaki backs bluefin tuna quota cuts


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
October 19, 2010

The World Wildlife Fund is praising European Union Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki’s call for a “significant” cut in Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic bluefin tuna catches.

Damanaki voiced her support for a decrease in next year’s total allowable catch at a meeting of the European Green Party in Strasbourg, France, on Tuesday.

WWF said it hopes that the EU will adopt Damanaki’s position at the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas meeting in Paris on 17 to 27 November. Raül Romeva i Rueda, Spanish member of the European Parliament and VP of the Greens, supported Damanaki’s position.

The EU, including all member states, is legally obliged through its Marine Strategy Framework Directive to immediately establish measures aimed at achieving recovery of fish stocks to sustainable levels by 2020, according to WWF.

“Commissioner Damanaki is laying out what could be a possible rescue plan for the Atlantic bluefin tuna fishery based on science and not politics,” said Tony Long, director of WWF’s European policy program in Brussels. “We call on member states to follow this lead to secure a long-term future for a sustainable artisanal fishery and a thriving marine ecosystem. The EU commissioner is showing a way forward that counteracts strong pressure from short-term business interests.”

WWF is calling for a total annual catch for Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic bluefin tuna of less than 6,000 metric tons and the suspension the industrial purse-seine fishery.

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