Link: ABC Coverage
The Japanese have found the numbers at the Convention on Trade of Endangered Species conference to beat the motion from Monaco to list the endangered Northern Bluefin Tuna at CITES 1, which would have listed the species as endangered and banned international trade.
Australia played a role in the defeat by proposing a CITES II protection that lists the species as at risk of becoming endangered. Australia had two of 9 delegates from the Australian southern bluefin tuna industry. Southern bluefin is also an endangered species, listed under another UN convention – IUCN – as critically endangered.
Less than 10% percent of the Southern Bluefin pre-fishing population remains. Australian fleets have been involved in the contiued fishing of this species above the sustainable limits. Before cuts announced this year, Australia hauled in 5635 tonnes of southern bluefin tuna a year, from a reported (and likely understated) global catch of 11,850 tonnes. There are mixed views about whether the 20% cut for 2010 will work. Australian fishers are facing a 25% cut.