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European Commission backs bluefin tuna trade ban

Brussels, 8th September 09. Commissioners Joe Borg and Stavros Dimas have backed a proposal to suspend international trade of Atlantic and Mediterranean bluefin tuna to protect ailing stocks from overfishing.

The European Commission agreed to adopt a joint position supporting a proposal submitted by Monaco in July to list Atlantic bluefin tuna on Appendix I of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Faunas and Flora), which would effectively ban international trade of the species.

European Union nations will accept or reject Tuesday’s joint position at a CITES Management Committee meeting on 21 September. Numerous EU countries, including France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany and Austria, have already expressed support for the ban.

The EU will vote collectively on the ban in March at CITES’ Conference of the Parties in Doha, Qatar.