US Backs Bluefin Tuna Ban

Obama administration stands with conservationists

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 3, 2010 2:43 PM CST

(Newser) – The Obama administration will endorse a full ban on the international trade of Atlantic bluefin tuna, the strictest protection yet for the endangered sushi fish. Monaco proposed such a ban late last year, but the administration hesitated to endorse it, sparking criticism from marine scientists. Now, with less than two weeks to go before a meeting on the fate of species with 175 other countries in Qatar, it’s come around, the Washington Post reports.

The US is backing the ban because current restrictions “have failed to do the job,” assistant secretary for fish and wildlife Tom Strickland says. “We are literally at a moment where if we don't get this right, we could see this very, very special species really at risk for survival.”

A wholesale retailer checks Bluefin tunas caught in the Indian Ocean, at the Rungis wholesale market, south of Paris, early Friday, Feb. 5, 2010.
A wholesale retailer checks Bluefin tunas caught in the Indian Ocean, at the Rungis wholesale market, south of Paris, early Friday, Feb. 5, 2010.   (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Workers harvest blue fin tuna from Maricultura's tuna pens March. 5, 2007 near Ensenada, Mexico.
Workers harvest blue fin tuna from Maricultura's tuna pens March. 5, 2007 near Ensenada, Mexico.   (AP Photo/Chris Park)
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