CITES Parties Reject Bluefin Tuna and Polar Bear Trade Ban

by Julian Ku

Japan triumphs in a big way at the CITES meeting in Doha, as the U.S. proposed ban on bluefin tuna trade goes down 20-68.

The rejection of the bluefin proposal was a clear victory for the Japanese government, which had vowed to go all out to stop the measure or else exempt itself from complying with it. Japan, which consumes nearly 80 percent of the bluefin catch, argued that the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, or Iccat, should be responsible for regulating the fishery, not the United Nations. European Union nations, whose fleets are most responsible for the overfishing of bluefin, abstained from voting in the second round after their own watered-down proposal was rejected.

The U.S. proposal for polar bears also went down, this time with Canada leading the opposition.