CITES Rejects Bluefin Tuna Ban: Another Failure to See Fish as Wildlife

The UN has rejected the proposal that Atlantic bluefin tuna be listed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES, which is currently in session.

CITES regulates the international trade of threatened species. All imports, exports and re-exports of species included in CITES must be authorized by a licensing system that is administered by the individual parties of the convention.

Japan, which imports 80 percent of Atlantic bluefin and has led the opposition to the ban, reiterated its arguments that CITES should have no role in regulating tuna and other marine species. It expressed willingness to accept lower quotas for bluefin tuna but wanted those to come from the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, or ICCAT, which currently regulates the trade.

Why shouldn't CITES play a role? It's true that CITES has been very reluctant to include marine species, especially ones with commercial value. That's why fewer than 5% of species listed by CITES are marine species. Also, ICCAT has shown itself to be ineffective. The very notion that Atlantic bluefin tuna were up for listing is evidence.

If this news is not enough, polar bears were also defeated:

The tuna defeat came hours after delegates rejected a U.S. proposal to ban the international sale of polar bear skins and parts, showing that economic interest at this meeting appeared to be trumping conservation.

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And the funny thing is that Japan touts itself as the most eco-friendly nation on the planet.

Profit before Prudence. It is no small wonder why the capital free market operating system on steroids is under such severe criticism, because free markets without vision and high levels of responsible input (restrictions) are disasters. Our global profit first motives free market has put our entire global economy in to a near collapse mode.

By Chris Martell (not verified) on 18 Mar 2010 #permalink

I forgot. $220,000 for a 440 pound tuna?!?! Well, I guess they have a lot of vested interest in having their economy devastated.

Maybe a new global fad needs to be started. Chicken Sushi. While I am just fine with "Tofu" sushi, I could support a chicken sushi. Cooked of course. If we cannot take the fish out of Japanese sushi, maybe we can take the fish out of our Japanese sushi? Or, how about "Jellyfish" sushi. Pour some wasabe, soy sauce and ginger on it, and who would know the difference?

By Chris Martell (not verified) on 18 Mar 2010 #permalink

No corruption to see here, citizen. Move along.

Maybe a new global fad needs to be started. Chicken Sushi. While I am just fine with "Tofu" sushi, I could support a chicken sushi. Cooked of course. If we cannot take the fish out of Japanese sushi, maybe we can take the fish out of our Japanese sushi? Or, how about "Jellyfish" sushi. Pour some wasabe, soy sauce and ginger on it, and who would know the difference?

If bluefin tuna stocks collapse catastrophically, as I expect they must given the current trend and politics, what are the realistic chances that said stocks will ever recover?

On another note -- is there any solid news about the current negotiations to wipe out the ban on whaling that I keep hearing mutters about?

...Not to depress anyone, or anything.

@Chris Martell -- last I was in Japan (4 years ago now?) they were already starting to serve things like quail's egg sushi and venison sushi. I expect they already have jellyfish sushi by now, given how many jellyfish they've ended up with over the last few years. The Tsukiji fish market HAS been hit by the increasing scarcity of good quality fish stocks, it's just that this really hasn't perculated into their national consciousness as something urgent yet, as far as I can tell.

By Luna_the_cat (not verified) on 25 Mar 2010 #permalink

Thank you for your blog and the work that you're doing. The bluefin "failure" is a human failure, our inability to make the right choices is legendary, especially now as we watch the ecosystem fall apart.

I am struggling myself to find any meaningful answers that aren't just greenwash / hogwash to the connundrum of connedsumption and contrived "solutions" that don't actually solve anything.

The best I can figure out is to make dramatic personal changes in one's own life, but this will never solve anything as long as the corpocracy media continues to convince connedsumers that they can still "have it all" even when there is little left.

I (strongly) suspect that we will all witness our own collapse, as opportunities and time pass us by, one by one and we continue to make the wrong choices.

Even so, please keep up the good work!

For an estimation of 5,000 species of animals and 28,000 species of plants are protected by CITES against over exploitation through international trade.

your a sicko

By mitchy smith (not verified) on 01 Mar 2012 #permalink

I can figure out is to make dramatic personal changes in one's own life, but this will never solve anything as long as the corpocracy media continues to convince connedsumers that they can still "have it all" even when there is little left.

The essay writing just about this topic, the students could find at the term paper writing service. Purchase the pre written essay and custom essays just about this good topic.

The best I can figure out is to make dramatic personal changes in one's own life, but this will never solve anything as long as the corpocracy media continues to convince connedsumers that they can still "have it all" even when there is little left.

I (strongly) suspect that we will all witness our own collapse, as opportunities and time pass us by, one by one and we continue to make the wrong choices.

Even so, please keep up the good work!