United States Has Yet to Take a Position on the Upcoming CITES Vote

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species is set to take place in March, which will include a vote on whether or not to ban the international trade of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna, but President Obama has yet to provide any public opinion on whether the United States will support the ban or not. The trade ban, proposed by Monaco, would not prohibit the sale of bluefin tuna within a nation, and would not affect the Pacific Bluefin Tuna. Domestic fishermen claim the ban would unfairly affect nations which will honor the ban, compared to others who claim they will not, such as Japan, and that bluefin tuna should be managed by ICCAT and not by CITES. For more information, please read this article from Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Bluefin tuna fishermen in the Northeastern United States have obtained support from 15 members of Congress in a letter released last week. The members publicly opposing the ban are from Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire, states whose local fishermen would be affected by the ban. John Kerry did not sign the letter but has not yet taken a stand on the issue. An NOAA spokeswoman said last week that an Obama administration position is being developed with the NOAA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and will be released soon.

However, it is not to late to have your voice heard if you want the United States to support the CITES ban. The PEW environmental group has a pre-written letter which you can automatically send to Congress, located here:

Or you can write to President Obama or your local Senators and Representatives. Type in your zip code to obtain their contact information at www.congress.org.