March 16, Doha. I predicted yesterday that Japan would be trying to get the Cites meeting to back an Appendix II listing for the bluefin tuna, which means regulated trade. The Pew Environment Group put out a very clear statement earlier today which shows why Appendix II would mean business as usual for the tuna, ie more gutless management by ICCAT.
Pew's statement said: "We wanted to let you know that we’re hearing that some nations are thinking about proposing an Appendix II listing for Atlantic bluefin tuna. Please note that this would not change the status quo, and is just an effort to block what is really needed—Appendix I and a trade suspension. The CITES treaty is written so that if the trade of a species listed in Appendix II is governed by another treaty that predates CITES, than all trade management in that species defers to the initial treaty, not CITES.
"In the case of Atlantic bluefin, whose trade is governed by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), an Appendix II listing keeps the species management in the hands of the treaty organization that has failed to set sustainable catch levels and has no enforcement authority."
I hope that is clear. Only an Appendix 1 listing will do.
Take note Australia, which thinks perversely that management of the bluefin should be left with ICCAT, an organisation with few of the
controls that now govern the fishing of the southern bluefin tuna.
Why side with lower standards than you set yourselves? I think Australia is missing something here.