Get it right. Some media have reported that an international trade ban in bluefin tuna would put in jeopardy €400 million generated annually in the Mediterranean region (which multiplies by six when an average 80 percent of the tuna is exported to Japan). This industry produces 2,300 direct jobs and 4,000 indirect jobs only in Spain –the country with the biggest fishing quota in the world.
But, what happens if the last bluefin tuna is caught? The logical deduction is this industry goes down with it.
Right now, in the Doha summit, the future of bluefin tuna is being discussed: will it be included in the Appendix I to the Convention On International Trade In Endangered Species Of Wild Fauna And Flora (known as CITES), which bans its international trade?
There are different interests in conflict. The governments of fishing countries –cornered by the economic crisis and the mighty fishing industry—are reluctant and argue that banning the international trade of bluefin tuna does not guarantee its protection; the ecologists highlight the fact that there is only less than 15 percent left of the original population of bluefin tuna (destruction that has been financed with subsidies, by the way) and that the Appendix I is probably the last chance to save not only the tuna, but also the industry; artisanal fishers wish that the ban didn´t affect the European common market; and big shipping and fishing companies deny the scientific basis of the initiative.
But there is a scientific basis. Reports from the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT-SCRS) and FAO show the endangered bluefin tuna meets the requirements for an international trade ban. The future of a species that is on top of the food chain is under threat; by destroying it, we seriously alter a natural balance that took millions of years of evolution.
The European Parliament and Commission have proposed that the EU votes in favour of the inclusion of bluefin tuna in the Appendix I to the Convention; but there are many unanswered questions. Do not miss this fiery contest, which is fundamental for the survival of the seas as we know them.