Friday, March 5, 2010

What will the EU do on bluefin?

The EU should shortly announce their position on the Appendix I listing under CITES proposed by Monaco for bluefin tuna. Actually, they should have announced it a few weeks ago but things just keep getting delayed. We're hearing that Italy (big opponent of the proposal, despite what they said a few weeks ago) is trying to rope in red coral to the bluefin tuna consideration. The EU is actually a co-sponsor of the proposal to list 32 species of red and pink coral under Appendix II and the vast majority of EU countries are in support of trade regulation for these species, bar Italy. It's a clear indication of the politics that come into play when considering protection measures for wildlife when there are commercial interests at stake. I honestly can't wait for Doha. It's could be a game changer for marine species under CITES and that gets people like me (ie, wildlife trade nerds) VERY excited. For too long they've been relegated to the back benches. CITES, when properly implemented, can be a valuable instrument to help conserve wildlife (as this excellent paper by Dr. Phaedra Doukakis shows) and trade. The science is clear for sharks, coral and bluefin. What remains to be seen is if countries remember that once these issues once the voting begins.....

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