EU27 Machiavellian BlueFin Tuna CITES Appendix I listing position

The EU is deeply concerned about the poor conservation status of Atlantic BlueFin tuna and acknowledges that fisheries for this species are largely driven by international trade.

While the Union recognises that the International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) has taken a number of steps since 2006 to address this situation, it is now likely that the criteria for listing the species under CITES Appendix I have been met.

In line with its constant policy that the inclusion of species under CITES Appendices should be decided on the basis of objective criteria and the relevant provisions adopted under CITES, the Union therefore supports Monaco’s proposal to include Atlantic BlueFin tuna under CITES Appendix I.

The support by the EU is conditional upon the inclusion of an annotation in the listing proposal which would have the effect of:

a)          Deferring the entry into effect of the listing until after the ICCAT meeting which will take place in November 2010 [.];

b)          Empowering the CITES Standing Committee to assess [.], taking into account the results of the stock assessment that would be carried out by the ICCAT Scientific Committee in October 2010 and the evaluation by the CITES Animals Committee:

  1. whether ICCAT, at its November 2010 meeting, has fully implemented Recommendation [09-06] adopted at its meeting in November 2009, in particular through the establishment of a new Atlantic BlueFin tuna recovery plan for 2011-2013,
  2. whether ICCAT has suspended fishing activities in case of detection of a serious threat of collapse, in accordance with its own commitment;
  3. whether ICCAT demonstrates that full compliance will be guaranteed under this new recovery plan, in particular with the adoption of total allowable catches in line with the advice of the ICCAT Scientific Committee;
  4. whether, on the basis of those measures and of the best scientific advice available, international trade can continue without subjecting the species to the threat of extinction.

c)          [.] Requesting the CITES Standing Committee, on the basis of this assessment [.] and in case the conditions under b) are met, and through postal procedure before May 2011, to propose delisting the BlueFin tuna and [.] ask the CITES Depositary Government to initiate a delisting procedure [.].

The decision on delisting will be taken by the Parties in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article XV.2 of the Convention. In case the CITES Standing Committee presents such a proposal, the listing will not enter into force until the Parties take a decision.

[.] Should the CITES Standing Committee not present such a proposal, the listing [.] shall enter into effect on 1 May 2011.

In case the listing under Appendix I enters into effect, the Commission is invited to:

a)    adopt, pursuant to Article 8(4) of Council Regulation 338/1997, a general derogation from the prohibition to trade Atlantic BlueFin tuna within the EU for specimens caught:

  1. by [.] artisanal fishing modalities or by traps,
  2. in waters over which EU Member States exercise sovereign rights.

This derogation shall not lead to any increase in such fishing effort compared to the situation in 2009. The traceability of BlueFin tuna specimens in the internal EU trade will be ensured through the ICCAT BlueFin tuna Catch Document.

b) examine together with Member States the possibilities to implement [.] necessary EU and Member States-funded financial measures dedicated to those affected by the decision to support the CITES Appendix I listing proposal in case international trade will not continue.

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