photo by FreeCat (source: Flickr Creative Commons)

The threatened bluefin tuna will not be granted protected status. Japan and Canada opposed a ban on international trade on bluefin for economic reasons and received support from many developing nations.

The Guardian reports that the vote at the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Qatar tallied 172 member nations against the ban, with 43 in favor and 14 abstentions. The proposed trade ban was introduced by Monaco and had the support of the United States, Norway and Kenya. The European Union requested the implementation of any ban to be delayed until May 2011.

It is understood that the UK, the Netherlands and possibly other European nations voted in favour of the Monaco proposal, against the EU’s official position.


The ban would not have prevented fishermen from selling bluefin tuna on domestic markets. Due to the ban’s failure, the WWF are urging boycotts of bluefin, but with Japan importing 80% of Atlantic bluefin, such international calls may be largely ineffective.

Additional resources:

The Ecologist – Bluefin tuna: can trade bans protect our fisheries?