19 Mar 2010

Atlantic bluefin tuna ban turned down

11:46 am on 19 March 2010

A proposal to ban the export of Atlantic bluefin tuna has been rejected by a United Nations wildlife meeting.

Monaco tabled the plan at the meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

Japan, Canada and many poor nations opposed the measure on the grounds it would devastate fishing economies, the BBC reports.

Stocks of the tuna, which is a sushi mainstay in Japan, have fallen by about 85% since the industrial fishing era began.

Monaco argued that the organisation responsible for managing the bluefin fishery, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, had not implemented measures strict enough to ensure the species' survival.

Scientists and campaigners working with conservation organisations were disappointed with the outcome.

Glenn Sant of the trade monitoring network Traffic told the BBC it was a blow, because the commission has not been able to demonstrate that it is able to implement procedures that will lead to the bluefin's recovery.