WWF calls for bluefin tuna and shark conservation

Atlantic bluefin tuna has made progress in the East Atlantic and Mediterranean Atlantic bluefin tuna has made progress in the East Atlantic and Mediterranean

WWF is calling on the European Commission to ensure maximum efforts are made to conserve Atlantic bluefin tuna and sharks ahead of an annual meeting in Cape Town, South Africa.

The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) opens its 23rd regular annual meeting this week, where it will discuss the recovery of bluefin tuna which has made progress in the East Atlantic and Mediterranean since last year.

Dr Sergi Tudela, head of WWF's Mediterranean Fisheries Programme, said: “WWF calls on ICCAT delegates not to increase the tuna quota until it is based on the results of a new scientific assessment – no increase in quotas can be done against science.”

The ICCAT Scientific Committee (SCRS) has advised against any substantial change in the current quota and notes that maintaining catches at the levels agreed last year (13,400 tonnes) will likely allow the stock to recover by 2022.

Any irresponsible increase this year in bluefin tuna quotas for the East Atlantic and the Mediterranean by the ICCAT could jeopardise the timely recovery of the species,” added Dr Tudela.

After years of talks and pressure, a proposal for an effective shark finning ban will also be discussed at this year’s meeting.  

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