Potential Bans on Atlantic Bluefin Trade
In March of this year a meeting will be held by CITES to discuss a proposal to list Atlantic bluefin in Appendix 1 of the convention. If this were to pass, it would create a ban on the export of the fish, allowing it only for domestic consumption within countries of the European Union. The country most affected by this ban would be Japan as they currently "buy nearly 80 per cent of the annual Atlantic bluefin catch". This is an obvious concern for the Japanese as bluefin tuna is economically and culturally significant to them. They are hoping that the meeting outcome will classify Atlantic bluefin in Appendix II instead which would tighten the regulations on trade without banning it completely. However, scientists are concerned about simply tightening the regulations because the previous set quotas on fishing have been ignored in the past. They believe a complete ban may be the only way to save the endangered population and to bring about consumer awareness, "If (Atlantic) bluefin tuna becomes an endangered species, that's big news. That will wake a lot of people up."
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