EP backs trade ban on blue fin tuna and polar bears

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EP backs trade ban on blue fin tuna and polar bearsEuropean Parliament voiced its support on Wednesday for a ban on the trade in endangered animals, such as blue fin tuna and polar bears, and products derived from these animals. However, MEPs called for financial compensation for the tuna fishing sector that would be affected. Parliament would also like to keep the ban on trade in African elephants and forbid any trade in ivory until 2028.

In Wednesday’s resolution, adopted by show of hands, MEPs urge the Commission and the EU Member States to ban the international trade in blue fin tuna subject to the following conditions:

• a general derogation for domestic trade, allowing traditional coastal fishing to continue;

• EU financial support for seafarers and vessel owners affected;

• tighter controls and tougher penalties to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

The resolution, which also deals with tigers, sharks, crocodiles, corals and other species of fauna and flora, comes ahead of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), that takes place in Doha on 13-25 March. Parliament’s Environment Committee will be sending a delegation to the conference.

The Council is expected to take a decision on the EU’s position on February the 26th.

CITES is the largest global wildlife conservation agreement, preventing the over-exploitation of wild fauna and flora through international trade, with 175 parties, including the 27 EU Member States. CITES Appendix I lists species threatened with extinction for which international trade is prohibited and Appendix II lists species for which trade must be controlled.

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