Tuna Overview

Switzerland, 19 November 2010 – IWMC World Conservation Trust today urged member states at the ICCAT (International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas) meeting to make further progress on the management of stocks of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna at its 17th Extraordinary Meeting in Paris.

Last year, ICCAT established a comprehensive plan to rebuild stocks of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna and substantially lowered catch quotas. But animal rights groups persuaded some developed nations, including the United States, to support a listing of the species at CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species). Despite a huge media campaign that falsely claimed Atlantic Bluefin Tuna was on the brink of biological extinction, this move was overwhelmingly rejected by CITES member states. Now the campaign has once again shifted back to ICCAT.

In reality, the debate at ICCAT is between those who see tuna as a productive food resource and those who believe people should stop consuming fisheries altogether for ethical reasons. The continued existence of the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna is not in doubt.

Jaques Berney, Executive Vice-President of IWMC World Conservation Trust, who is currently attending the ICCAT meeting, said: “It is important for the welfare of families all over the world that fish is widely available at reasonable prices and that the fisheries market is not corrupted by unwarranted prohibitions and restrictions. ICCAT delegates need to keep their eyes on the ball and not be drawn into the bogus debates and hidden agendas of the animal rights activists. 

“Animal rights groups know that any suspension of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna fishing would signal the beginning of the end for tuna fisheries as a whole. This is why it is vital for ICCAT to succeed with its management initiative.”

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Conservation Influencers

Conservation Influencers is a searchable directory of the animal activist, environmental and ecological lobby. It examines the history, mission, methodology and reputation of NGOs to assess their impact on the global conservation cause.

Franz Weber Foundation

From 1990 until 2015, Franz Weber Foundation (FFW) managed the Fazao-Malfakassa National Park in Togo, which was, according to an in-depth investigation by Duke University, ‘established by forcing the local communities off their land and without taking into consideration their point of view’. That same study cited convincing evidence from reports published in 1990, confirming that competition for land use was already ‘creating conflict between the local communities and park managers’. In 2015, Togo refused to renew FFW’s contract because, the report says, ‘local communities were still excluded from the management of the natural resources of their land’ and FFW had ‘failed to fulfil its contract’. Franz Weber Foundation plays a major role within CITES because it funds and manages from Switzerland the African Elephant Coalition (AEC), which represents 32 African range states, some of which have barely any elephants and others none at all. Contrary to the wishes of the range states in Southern Africa, which manage most of the world’s wild elephant populations, the AEC at CITES’ CoPs repeatedly tables proposals to put all of the world’s elephants in appendix I. And the AEC uses its voting power to keep in place prohibitions on ivory sales and all other trade in elephant-related derivatives, including skins and hair, which Southern African nations wish to legalise.

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