Brussels: Bluefin tuna is one step closer to extinction as the EU prepares to close this year’s Mediterranean bluefin season – which should not have been opened in the first place, said Greenpeace.
The closure will become effective at the latest as of midnight on Wednesday, the European Commission said in a statement.
The Commission took the decision to intervene and close the purse seine fishery after France had failed to recall its fleet. European ‘purse seine’ fishermen, one of the most unsustainable fisheries that takes the largest chunk of catches (about 70 percent), have almost reached their quota for 2010, one week before the official end of the season – a step that has been taken before.
But the tuna massacre is set to continue as European fishermen flying non-European flags of convenience continue to fish. Non-EU boats are estimated to be responsible for about 40 percent of the total bluefin tuna catch in the Mediterranean.
Greenpeace International oceans campaigner Oliver Knowles, onboard the Rainbow Warrior on an expedition to save tuna in the Mediterranean,said: “Bluefin tuna is on the brink of extinction and fishing should never have taken place this year – yet another example of how politics have failed our oceans and the Mediterranean. Scientists have shown that the only appropriate fishing quota for bluefin tuna is zero. These ships should not have been allowed to fish at all this season.”