WWF Renews Call for Ban on Mediterranean Bluefin Tuna

By

SeafoodSource staff

Published on
May 23, 2008

The World Wildlife Fund yesterday renewed its call for a ban on bluefin tuna fishing in the Mediterranean Sea. Since the fishery opened at the beginning of May, more than 10,000 breeding fish are harvested daily, says the Washington, D.C.-based conservation organization.

The WWF expects about 27,000 metric tons of bluefin to be landed by the end of the month, almost twice the amount deemed sustainable by international scientists and just shy of the 29,500-metric-ton annual quota. The fishery is scheduled to run through the end of June, and by then the WWF anticipates the catch to more than triple the amount considered sustainable.

WWF is urging the European Commission and Mediterranean countries to close the fishery immediately to prevent bluefin stocks from collapsing. It's also asking seafood suppliers, retailers and chefs worldwide to boycott Mediterranean bluefin.

"The bluefin tuna overexploitation is untenable and unjustifiable," says Dr. Sergi Tudela, head of fisheries at WWF Mediterranean. "Scientists are telling us the tuna stocks cannot support such high levels of catches, and pirate fishing has already been detected by the WWF this year. Why is another disastrous fishing season being allowed to take place? This fishery must close now."

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