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France, UK and Monaco support ban on international trade in blue fin tuna

Brussels, 17th July 2009. President Sarkozy has announced France's support for a ban on international trade of bluefin tuna. Monaco and the UK have supported France's position.

The backing of two major EU countries for a ban on the international bluefin tuna trade has instantly given weight and momentum to the campaign by Monaco to have the bluefin listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) next year.

The fight is not quite over yet, as the 175 countries that have signed the convention will vote on the proposed ban at a meeting in Doha, Qatar, in March 2010. A two-thirds majority is required and, if this is achieved, the ban would come into force 90 days later.

The plight of bluefin tuna has been gathering attention following a WWF prediction that bluefin tuna breeding stocks could disappear by 2012. The release in the UK of the film "The End of the Line" has also brought the public's attention to the issue.

Speaking at the close of a national stakeholder consultation on France’s future sustainable fisheries and maritime policy, President Sarkozy said: “France supports listing bluefin tuna on the CITES convention to ban international trade.”

He added: “Ours is the last generation with the ability to take action before it’s too late – we must protect marine resources now, in order to fish better in future. We owe this to fishermen, and we owe it to future generations.”

"End of the Line" article on President Sarkozy's decision.
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Official website of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
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