"Fishing Nations Force EU Retreat on Bluefin Tuna"

"BRUSSELS -- France, Spain and other Mediterranean nations forced the European Union to retreat Thursday from an ambitious plan to save the threatened and prized bluefin tuna.

After drawn-out negotiations, the 27-nation EU abandoned a plan to seek cutbacks in fishing quotas based only on scientific advice and said Thursday it will now also consider the interests of tuna fishermen.

Representatives from 48 countries around the world are preparing to set fishing quotas for the Atlantic bluefin, whose tender red meat is popular in sushi in Japan. That meeting in Paris started Wednesday and continues through Nov. 27.

Bluefin tuna stocks in the eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean have dropped 60 percent from 1997 to 2007, and the current Mediterranean fishing quota is 13,500 metric tons a year."

Raf Casert reports for the Associated Press November 18, 2010.

Friday, November 19, 2010