For Immediate Release

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Greenpeace Statement on U.S. Announcement in Support of Endangered Species Listing for Bluefin Tuna

WASHINGTON - Responding to the United States Fish and
Wildlife Service (USFWS) announcement today in support of an
international ban on trade in bluefin tuna through a Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Appendix One listing,
Greenpeace U.S. issued the following statement from oceans campaign
director, John Hocevar:
“Greenpeace applauds the announcement
today by the U.S. in support of an international ban on trade of
bluefin tuna. This is great news for the oceans, and exactly the kind
of science-based leadership we hoped for from President Obama's
administration. Bluefin tuna have been mismanaged to the brink of
extinction and a ban on international trade is critical to the recovery
of the species.
“Overfishing has radically transformed our oceans. Over 90 percent of
the large fish - including bluefin tuna - have been caught and eaten,
causing changes to marine ecosystems that we have not begun to
understand.  A more precautionary, ecosystem- based approach to
fisheries management is needed.

“A CITES listing is not management, it is a last ditch effort to
prevent extinction. Greenpeace supports the call for a network of fully
protected marine reserves to provide populations of fish and other
marine life the resilience they will need to survive the impacts of
fishing, acidification, and global warming.
“Fishermen have been catching bluefin tuna for thousands of years, but
it is only in the past few decades that this has become a threat to the
species' survival. Illegal fishing, greed, and a refusal to adhere to
scientists' recommendations about maximum sustainable catch limits have
devastated the bluefin population as well as many fishing communities
on the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts. Today, bluefin caught in the
Mediterranean are too small to bring to market, so they are towed to
ranches to be fattened up for sale. Fishermen whose families have
fished bluefin for generations are reduced to towing bluefin caught by
the enormous commercial operations that destroyed their livelihoods and
nearly wiped out the species.
"The fate of one of the world's most spectacular creatures, a
warm-blooded fish the size of a small elephant capable of reaching
speeds of up to 60 miles per hour, will be determined this month.  An
international trade ban may be the bluefin's last chance.” 



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