A lifeline for bluefin tuna?
Friday 11 September 2009
Since the big screen release of ‘End of the Line’, the plight of bluefin tuna has received extensive press coverage.
The marine conservation documentary highlighted the damaging effects of overfishing and the demand for high grade fish for sushi.
In June ZSL hosted a packed-out screening of the movie to help raise awareness. The venue was apt - much of our conservation work and research focuses on sustainable species management.
After a pronounced lobbying campaign from a number of organisations, it was recently announced that Europe will very likely vote as a bloc to ensure international trade of bluefin tuna is banned under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
This could represent an important lifeline for the near extinct fish.
The meeting of CITES in March 2010 would involve the 175 national members, of which Europe comprises 27, voting on whether bluefin tuna should be traded globally.
But with many of the world’s countries having a significant commercial stake in fisheries, it is unlikely to be a clear-cut decision.
Present thinking is that bluefin stocks are at crisis point – the population in the Mediterranean is thought to have dropped by over 80% in 40 years.
It is essential for the future of this amazing animal, dubbed ‘the tiger of the sea’ by conservationists for its rarity and predatory prowess, that the members of CITES back an end to global trading.
ZSL's marine conservation work
‘The End of the Line’ kicked-off a global campaign for people to demand better marine policies.
ZSL recognises the importance of improving the management and sustainable use of aquatic resources.
Through marine and freshwater conservation programme we work with local communities and partner organisations in the UK and worldwide.
As part of Project Seahorse , ZSL mentored the CITES listing of all seahorse species under Appendix II in 2002 (implemented in 2004) - the first ever listing of a marine fish of commercial importance and a breakthrough in marine fisheries regulations.