Press release


Bluefin tuna fishery must be closed due to conflict in Libya

The Greens have called for the EU to close its bluefin tuna fishery for the 2011 season as a consequence of the conflict in Libya. The group claims that the conflict in Libya will make it impossible to properly oversee and control fishing of the critically threatened bluefin tuna and that the only solution is to close the fishery. Green fisheries spokesperson Raül Romeva said:

"Closing the entire bluefin fishery for the 2011 season is the only responsible course of action in the current circumstances. Oversight and control of the bluefin fishery, which is difficult at the best of times, will be rendered completely impossible, with a major part of the fishery lying in what is a warzone. Given the critical status of bluefin, which is effectively on life support, it would be grossly irresponsible to allow fishing in a situation where proper controls will not be carried out.

"The EU has a major responsibility for the bluefin tuna fishery given the size of its catches, the number of farms to fatten the tuna and its consumption of tuna. In order to prevent complete anarchy, the EU must close its own purse seine fishery for bluefin tuna for 2011 and begin immediate negotiations with ICCAT, the fisheries management body responsible for bluefin tuna, to close the fishery for all countries.

"If the fishery goes ahead in 2011, then the recovery plan for bluefin tuna, recently adopted with so much difficulty, will probably be a complete failure."

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