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.

Wildlife Conservation Society

In 1906, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) put an African man on display in Bronx Zoo’s Monkey House. In 1918, one of WCS’s founding fathers, Madison Grant, published Passing of the Great Race, which Adolf Hitler referred to as his ‘Bible’. Another leading creator and early leader of WCS, Henry Fairfield Osborn Sr, was also a founder of the American Eugenics Society. His son headed WCS from 1940 to 1968, overseeing a series of major initiatives in Africa. There, WCS became one of the architects of the prohibition movement, which put wildlife for consumptive use and vast regions of land out of bounds to humanity. In 2020, WCS distanced itself in public from the racist views of Grant and Henry Fairfield Osborn Sr. But it has yet to issue a critical account of the legacy of Fairfield Osborn Jr, even though he led WCS into the modern era while sharing similar politically-inspired ecological goals to his father and Grant. WCS devotes considerable financial resources to influencing outcomes at CITES. WCS’s CEO reportedly earns USD$1,320,978.

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