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» 15.02.2010 - Ethiopia and UK leaders to head climate change team
» 08.02.2010 - $700 million secured for Climate Action
» 02.02.2010 - "Green Fund" for climate change financing
» 02.02.2010 - BirdLife cares for wetlands
» 07.01.2010 - UN strikes biodiversity deal with African soccer giants
» 16.12.2009 - Climate change deal must address hunger, UN expert
» 15.12.2009 - Experts reach conclusion to limit trade on aquatic animals under CITES
» 14.12.2009 - Africa needs stronger regional cooperation, Janneh

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Tuna commission criticised for endorsing high quotas

afrol News, 25 November - The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas has been criticised for endorsing 22, 000 tones total allowable catch quota, way surpassing 15, 000 tones per year recommended by the commission's scientists.

An endorsement by the Tuna commission in Marrakech Morocco, came despite a warning by the Commission's scientists of a possible collapse of bluefin tuna fishery in the Mediterranean ocean.

The scientists have also urged a seasonal closure during the fragile spawning months of May and June, while outcome of the Morocco meeting allows industrial fishing in practice up to 20 June.

Head of WWF Mediterranean's fisheries programme Dr Sergi Tudela said the decision is a disgrace which leaves WWF a little choice but to look elsewhere to save bluefin tuna fishery.

"Any alternative is preferable to an organisation which boasts of its respect for science but where in a decade catches have gone from twice to four times the scientific recommendations, with massive legal and illegal over fishing," he said.

WWF said Morocco debate has been marred by allegations of the European Commission threatening developing state members with trade retaliations should they support lower catch limits and extended closed seasons.

Dr Tudela said ICCAT string of successive failures calls for effective remedies through trade measures and extending boycott of retailers, restaurants, chefs and consumers.

WWF has been urging a suspension of the out-of-control fishery, an option endorsed by the recent World Conservation Congress and recommended by ICCAT's own internal high-level review.

WWF reported that the world's largest bluefin tuna trader, Mitsubishi, signalled earlier in November that it would "reassess" its "involvement in this business" should ICCAT continue to be unable to sustainably manage the fishery.

"The WWF will also actively push for a listing under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in the hope that stringent trade controls are tied explicitly to the survival of the species," he said.

Some other reports also point that Bluefin consumption in the main consumer market of Japan is expected to drop from 18,000 tonnes due to the economic crisis.

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