Tuna fishing banned in Europe for rest of 2008
The ban announced by the European Commission Friday has been slammed by France who is calling for an urgent meeting of EU fisheries experts.13 June 2008
PARIS - France on Friday slammed a decision by the European Union to ban industrial tuna fishing in the Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic and called for an urgent meeting of EU fisheries experts.
Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Michel Barnier deplored "this decision, made without having taken account of technical factors and catch figures," a statement from his ministry said.
It said Barnier had contacted Joe Borg, European commissioner for fishing and maritime affairs, to call for "the urgent organisation" of a meeting of experts from the EU executive commission.
The committee will be able to "provide useful data on bluefin tuna catches by purse seiners in the countries concerned," the statement said.
It added that France had already implemented "exceptional measures" to control bluefin tuna fishing in the Mediterranean, including individual quotas for the 36 French seiners operating there.
The European Commission earlier Friday announced that it was shutting down industrial tuna fishing in the Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic for the rest of the year because quotas for 2008 were nearly full.
The move targets fishing by purse seiners, which encircle whole schools of fish and account for 70 percent of all bluefin tuna hauls.
Under the decision, purse seiners from Greece, France, Italy, Cyprus and Malta will be banned from fishing bluefin tuna from 16 June while purse seiners from Spain will not be able to cast their nets from 23 June.
[AFP / Expatica]