Japan Plans to Ignore Any Ban on Bluefin Tuna

PARIS — Japan will not join in any agreement to ban international trade in Atlantic bluefin tuna under the United Nations treaty on endangered species, the country’s top fisheries negotiator said.

The negotiator, Masanori Miyahara, said in a telephone interview this week that Japan “would have no choice but to take a reservation” — in effect, to ignore the ban and leave its market open to continued imports — if the bluefin tuna were granted most-endangered species status.

“It’s a pity,” he said, “but it’s a matter of principle.”

Mr. Miyahara, Japan’s top delegate to the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, referred to as Cites, said the convention was the wrong forum for managing the fishing of the bluefin tuna.

A formal proposal for a ban — which requires the approval of two-thirds of its 175 member countries — is scheduled to be presented at a Cites meeting next month in Doha, Qatar.

The position of Japan, which consumes about 80 percent of the bluefin tuna caught in the Mediterranean, “is very simple,” Mr. Miyahara said. He said Japan believed that a different organization, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, known as Iccat, should manage bluefin tuna catches and protection.

Mr. Miyahara said Japan acknowledged that the bluefin tuna needed protection, but the endangered-species convention was “quite inflexible,” he said.

Historically, he said, almost no species added to the Cites endangered species list had ever been removed. “We don’t believe the bluefin tuna is endangered to that extent,” he said.

Meanwhile, Europe appeared to be moving to a compromise.

France, home of the largest Mediterranean bluefin fleet, said on Feb. 3 that it was prepared to back an international trade ban at the Cites meeting, to take effect after 18 months. But a person with knowledge of the European Commission’s thinking who asked not to be identified because the commission had not formally adopted the position, said on Friday that officials were planning to propose that Iccat be given a last chance to give depleted stocks of the tuna a chance to recover by temporarily banning all commercial trade in the fish.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/20/business/energy-environment/20tuna.html

About Oceanic Defense
We are an international non-profit organization with members in over 60 countries, spanning 6 continents with 1 mission; healthy aquatic ecosystems free from human abuse and neglect. Oceanic Defense teaches people to protect our oceans by acting responsibly as consumers and by making smart decisions in our daily lives. Whether we are buying groceries, commuting to work, planning a vacation or advocating within our own communities; each action we take or decision we make either helps or hurts our oceans. We empower people to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem and work together to protect our blue planet.

Join us on Facebook:
Visit our official website:
Follow us on Twitter:


  1. Avant-Garde Food Critic [News Poem, March 18, 2010]

    “Andrew Wetzler of the Natural Resources Defense Council said the CITES vote is not the end of the story for the bear.
    "The ironic thing is that all the countries of the conference acknowledge that global warming is posing a huge challenge for this species," Wetzler said. "When you have a species threatened by global warming, it only makes sense to reduce all the other stresses, including hunting."”
    -Deborah Zabarenko, Environment Correspondent Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:30pm EDT

    The meat of clones will never do
    For palettes fine—refined like mine.
    I've tasted polar bear ragout
    And eaten baiji cooked in wine.

    I never let the people say
    I have no use for scarcer fare.
    One cannot measure food's dismay
    With what I gain: they don't compare.

    The hypocrites are shocked I'm sure.
    To keep their jobs, they smog with crude.
    To keep their false facade secure,
    They let machines prepare their food.

    I'm keeping nothing, nothing's worth
    The effort there, instead I seek
    To keep myself well fed. My girth
    Is sourced with doom, not death: unique

    I'd say. I'd like to try the last taboo
    And dine as cannibals once did:
    Without remorse, I'd slurp that stew.
    By eating youth, become a kid.


  2. Blogs are so informative where we get lots of information on any topic. Nice job keep it up!!

    Doctoral Dissertation

  3. I love your blog so much, and there are just some differences with others'. Hope there will be more wonderful things in your blog. Happy every day!
    Dissertation Help | Custom Dissertation