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Bluefin tuna at heart of EU fishing storm

Latest update : 2008-06-19

EU fisheries regulators are at loggerheads with France and Italy over a decision to ban some bluefin tuna fishing, with EU officials accusing the two countries of busting their quotas and misreporting their catches.

EU Commissioner for Fisheries Joe Borg is expected Monday to meet representatives of Italian and French tuna fishermen to defuse a row over an EU decision to ban some fishing for bluefin tuna.
   
About 300 Italian and French fishermen on Tuesday protested outside the offices of the Delegation of the Commission in Malta threatening to block the island nation's harbours if they are not given an appointment with Borg.
   
A delegation of eight fishermen is expected to go the Brussels for the meeting.
   
The fishermen based in Malta with over 30 trawlers are protesting against the Commission's decision to close the tuna fishing season for purse seine trawlers.
   
A spokesman for the fishermen Tuesday said that because of bad weather the quota for the Mediterranean had not been reached.
   
A statement by Borg said that "the European Commission has in its possession all the data needed to establish that the EU purse seine fleet has now exhausted its quota. Our decision is based on the most detailed analysis of the fishery, using multiple sources of information, which have been cross-checked against one another on a daily basis."

Date created : 2008-06-19

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