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Criticism and fear generate Turkey’s bluefin tuna plan


Bluefin tuna purse seine fishery. (Photo Credit: Greenpeace)

WORLDWIDE
Tuesday, March 03, 2015, 02:30 (GMT + 9)
Turkey’s intention to catch up to 73 per cent more bluefin tuna than under an internationally agreed plan has stirred complaints among the European Union, Japan and other nations hunting for the resource.
This opposing view was voiced at a meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) held last week, as it is feared this decision would threaten the stock recovery and the organization regulating its conservation, Associated Press reported.
"Many expressed discontent at the decision to declare an autonomous allocation and the potential of Turkey's decision to undermine the recovery of the eastern bluefin tuna stock and the Commission as a whole," the official report of the meeting reads.
This position was supported by environmental groups such as The Pew Charitable Trusts, whose director of global tuna conservation, Amanda Nickson, pointed out: "One government going beyond international agreements could be catastrophic for the recovery of this iconic species, and in fact catastrophic for ICCAT as a relevant management organization."
Therefore, it has been informed the European Commission expects that Turkey reconsiders this decision and that other parties abstain for taking similar decisions. But it was acknowledged that Turkey's move was not strictly illegal under the rules, considering "it is a dangerous precedent.”
For its part, Turkey expressed its "longstanding and rightful demand" for a higher quota had not been met, which forced the country to take independent action.
Given this situation, several nations threatened to take import measures against Turkey if it proceeded with its plan, as the report of the ICCAT meeting showed, according toAP.
On the other hand, ICCAT has been leading efforts to manage the global stock of the species in an attempt to turn stop the decline of the species, which is especially at risk in the Mediterranean.
Next year's quota for Mediterranean bluefin tuna has been raised by 20 per cent to 15,821 tonnes, with additional 20 per cent increases planned for each of the following two years.
 
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