Bluefin Tuna, Polar Bears, and Elephants at the Parties Meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species

by Julian Ku

Sure there is some dispute about settlements in East Jerusalem, or something, but here are some international law disputes that really matter. At CoP15, or the 15th Meeting of the Parties to the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species – currently going on in Doha, parties are discussing: resuming (or not resuming) the trade in ivory and imposing a ban on the commercial fishing of bluefin tuna, and a ban on commercial trade in polar bears (a U.S. proposal) as well as other issues.  CITES is a fascinating regime for regulating  trade in wildlife and conservation.  Does it work? That’s always hard to say. At least with respect to the ivory ban, there is reason to think that the ban backfired.  But then again, it is hard to imagine Japan battling furiously against the bluefin tuna ban if it didn’t think CITES had real teeth. Then again, like its battles over whales, Japan is increasingly on their own here.

DOHA — Japan was accused of scare tactics at world talks on wildlife protection on Monday as it campaigned against a proposal to curb trade in bluefin tuna, the succulent sushi delicacy….

“Japan’s lobbying is formidable. Three or four people from the Japanese delegation are constantly criss-crossing the Convention, arranging meetings,” he told AFP.

On Sunday, Japanese delegates met with some African nations, said a negotiator from west Africa.

“We are used to it. They do the same thing before each meeting of the International Whaling Commission,” the body that oversees global whale populations, he said.

2 Responses

  1. Japan is pretty serious about their seafood.  Wow.

  2. Can understand why Japan is fighting against the tuna ban. It’s a huge business in Japan. Sushi restaurants make or break with quality maguro.

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