BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU governments agreed a 15-year plan on Tuesday that set strict curbs on fishing for bluefin tuna, cutting quotas and tightening port inspections to stop the species from heading for extinction.
Prized by sushi and sashimi lovers, bluefin tuna has seen its numbers fall sharply in eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean waters. In Japan, the major market for the species, a single fish can command prices of up to $100,000.
“The difference now is that it (plan) is permanent, not temporary, and nobody is arguing any more about quotas. We now have complete clarity and are set up for 15 years from 2007,” one official at the European Commission told reporters.