Miguel Bosé and environmental organizations ask for bluefin tuna international trade ban

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NGOs urge Spain, that holds the EU presidency and the highest quota of bluefin tuna, supports the inclusion of this species in Appendix I of CITES.


February 3, 2010
Madrid
Contact:
Marta Madina ( mmadina@oceana.org )




The statement has also been signed by public figures such as Kofi Annan, Javier Solana, Michael Douglas and Elle MacPherson.

Ecologistas en Acción, Greenpeace, MarViva, Oceana, Pew and WWF met this morning to present the documentary The end of the line that tackles the worldwide overfishing problem and the disappearance of the Atlantic bluefin tuna. During the event, that had the support of artist Miguel Bosé, the organizations urged Spain to support the ban on the international trade of bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) at the next Conference of the Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) that will be held in Doha (Qatar) in March. The statement has been signed by a number of environmental organizations and over fifty scientists, artists and businessmen from several countries.

Once again, the Organizations have laid out the critical situation that this species is undergoing in the North Atlantic and the need for immediate action to ensure its future. Decades of overfishing, illegal fishing and management dominated by industry interests, have decimated the bluefin tuna spawning stock to levels below 15% of the existing population before industrial fishing.

Negotiations are currently taking place in the heart of the EU for a common stance for the CITES meeting, which will be a determining factor for this species’ future. The European Parliament Environment Committee, in a resolution within the process framework, has already urged Member States to support Monaco’s proposal for a ban on international trade.

The organizations that have participated in the event consider that Spain has the responsibility of acting to preserve bluefin tuna, and they urge the Spanish government to immediately adopt and promote the following measures:

Support of the inclusion of bluefin tuna in Appendix I of CITES

Bluefin tuna is disappearing. The decades of management by the Contracting Parties to the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), which include the EU, have been called an “international disgrace” [1]. The parties have shown themselves to be incapable of adopting the necessary measures such as quotas in accordance with scientists’ advice or the closure of the fishery during the spawning period. CITES is currently the sole valid alternative to guarantee the future of this species.

On the other hand, the socio-economic considerations do not make sense in this context. The EU Member States must guarantee the fishing industry’s long-term viability. The Administration’s current position only constitutes a guarantee that bluefin tuna fishing will cease to exist in the near future.

Spain, which currently holds the EU presidency and has the highest quota percentage among Member States, therefore has the responsibility of supporting this measure.

Creation of marine reserves in bluefin tuna spawning areas

The protection of bluefin spawning areas in the Mediterranean through the creation of marine reserves is a necessary step to protect this species, starting with the area located to the South of the Balearic Islands where there is already sufficient scientific information that upholds the immediate need for protection.

The following organizations and public characters have endorsed these requests:

Organizations:

1.- MarViva

2.- Oceana

3.- PEW Environment Group

4.- Slow Food Illes Balears

5.- Greenpeace España

6.- Avina

7.- Ecologistas en Acción

8.- WWF

9.- Grup Balear de Ornitología (GOB) Mallorca

10.- Grup Balear de Ornitología (GOB) Menorca

11.- Grup Balear de Ornitología (GOB) Eivissa

12.- Instituto Internacional de Derecho y Medio Ambiente (IIDMA)

13.- Amics de la Terra Balears

14.- Amigos de la Tierra España

15.- CERAI

16.- Revista Namaste

17.- Palma Aquarium

18.- Carta Mediterránea

Public characters:

1.- Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations

2.- Javier Solana, former High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union

3.- Miguel Bosé, singer and actor

4.- Michael Douglas, actor

5.- José María Figueres, former President of Costa Rica and CEO of CONCORDIA 21

6.- Sybilla, designer

7.- Ted Danson, actor

8.- Elle MacPherson, model

9.- Basilio Baltasar, Director of “Fundación Santillana”

10.- Dr. Enric Sala, scientific researcher of Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (Spain’s High Council of Scientific Research) and Ocean Fellow, National Geographic Society

11.- Jordi Bigas, journalist

12.- Diego Azqueta, Honorary President of WATU Acción Indígena

13.- Sean Cleary, CEO of Strategic Concepts

14.- Colin and Livia Firth, actors

15.- Jordi Bigas, environmentalist journalist

16.- Víctor Viñuales, Director of Ecology and Development

17.- Pedro Barbadillo, Documentrary Director

18.- Rupert Murray, director of The End of the Line

19.- George Duffield, producer de The End of the Line

20.- Charles Clover, research journalist and author of The End of the Line

21.- Valeria Golino, actress

22.- Baron Eric De Rothschild, banker

23.- Greta Scacchi, actress

24.- Stephen Fry, actor

25.- Dr. Carles Amengual i Vicens, Secretary of Education of the Liga Medicorum Homoeopathica Internationalis

26.- Yannick y Ben Jakober, artists

27.- Irene Peukes, designer

28.- Sandy Hemingway, President of “Amigos de la Tierra España”

29.- Liliane Spendeler, Director of Environmental Areas of “Tierra España”

30.- Yolanda Kakabadse, former President IUCN and Senior Advisor of “Fundación Futuro Latinoamericano”

31.- Prof. Jacques Marcovitch, former President of University of Sao Paulo

32.- Jaume Tapies, chef and President of Relais & Chateaux

33.- Musaed Al Saleh, Council Member of Earth Council Geneva (ECG)

34.- Jacques Perrin, director and cinema producer

35.- Tom Aikens, chef

36.- Sophie Andrieu, cooking books writter

37.- Joanna Lumley, actress

38.- Charles Dance, actor

39.- Fiona Shaw, actress

40.- Zac Goldsmith, environmentalist journalist

41.- Damian Aspinall, businessman

42.- Ben Elliot, businessman

43.- Ben y Kate Goldsmith, business and environmentalist people

44.- Laura Bailey, actress

45.- Alan Rickman, actor and director

46.- Prince Urbano Barberini, actor

47.- Richard E Grant, actor

48.- Sophie Dahl, writter and model

49.- Emilia Fox, actress

50.- Amber Valetta, actress and model

 

[1] Report of the Independent Performance Review of ICCAT. 2008

Statement by MEP Raül Romeva .- http://blocs.mesvilaweb.cat/node/view/id/158504