Arab League opposed to all marine listings. By: Charles Clover in Doha

Opposition to the listing of sharks on Cites Appendix II and bluefin on Appendix I received a boost in Doha yesterday when it became clear that the Arab League countries would be opposing all marine proposals, including the listing of red coral.

Sources close to the convention said that the League was concerned by the “socio-economic problems” that stopping trade with Japan would cause for fishermen along the North African coast.

Tunisia, in particular, has expressed strong opposition to a Cites Appendix 1 listing of bluefin.

Ghamen Abdulla Mohamed, director of wildlife conservation at Qatar’s Ministry for Environment, refused to comment and said the host nation would make its views known “after discussions.”

Patrick Van Klaveren, the ambassador to Monaco, which has proposed the Appendix 1 listing, said there could be ways of compensating the fishermen, possibly even through the richer members of the Arab League or some environmental fund.

One thing is clear, there is no mechanism for compensating fishermen under ICCAT which is the managment regime Japan wants to stick with.

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