The convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) administered by the UN began March 13th in Qatar, having thousands of delegates from 175 nations. During the convention current issues are discussed, such as the prevention from extinction that many endangered animals face. One of the most controversial and prominent debates this year is the proposal to impose a complete ban on the fishing for Bluefin Tuna. Oliver Knowles of Greenpeace stated during the conference, ““The bluefin tuna crisis is one of the most visible examples of how badly we have abused our oceans in recent years, and a damning indictment on the state of global fisheries management. An Appendix I listing is perhaps the last hope for this highly impressive and important fish. Governments must vote the right way.”
One of the strongest opponents to this motion is the country of Japan, a consumer of 80% of the world’s supply of Bluefin Tuna. Representatives from the country stated they would continue the practice of fishing BFT, as it is a part of their culture. However it is very likely that a ban will be imposed. The secretary general of CITES stated there is much evidence that would point towards a move forward on the ban. This is finally a positive step towards the preservation of a species facing eminent extinction.
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By Gonzalo Romero