Bluefin Tuna Ban

The European Commission has proposed under the Convention on International Trade and Endangered Species (CITES) that there would be a ban on the sale of Bluefin Tuna until such time as it is removed from the list of species that are under threat of extinction.

The proposal is to list Atlantic Bluefin Tuna which would bring about a near total ban. This is all dependant on a scientific report due out in November.

Already, France, Germany, Britain and the Netherlands have indicated that they will support the ban.

It is understood however, that several countries including Spain and Italy are not as interested in a total ban.

The Commissions draft document states “from a scientific and technical point of view, the criteria for listing of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (as an endangered species) appears to be met”, “there is no doubt about the link between international trade and over-exploitation of the species”.

The difficulty of course remains that there is strong demand for Bluefin Tuna as it forms a delicacy in cultures where sushi is a favourite food such as Japan. While there would be a ban on the trade in Tuna, it could still be sold locally.

While the report, which may trigger the decision to impose a ban, is due out in November, the next meeting of CITES is in March of 2010.

Dermot Conway
Conways Solicitors