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EU ends bluefin tuna fishing season early

Video by Jonathan CRANE

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-06-09

The European Commission has ordered that the bluefin tuna fishing season end five days ahead of its normal schedule. The EU decision comes after fishermen exhausted their allocated quotas off Europe’s coasts.

AFP - The European Commission on Tuesday announced an early end to the fishing season for the lucrative but endangered bluefin tuna, a mainstay of Japanese food, saying the allowable quotas had already been taken.

"The commission has declared a zero tolerance approach towards overfishing and will take all necessary measures to ensure full compliance across the board," the EU's executive arm said in a statement.

The summer season opened on June 1, but the commission announced that fishing the tuna with huge 'purse seine' nets would end at midnight, June 9, rather than the scheduled date of June 15.

EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki took the decision to end the fishing season early "due to the exhaustion of the quotas allocated to them."

Major tuna fishers France, Greece and Spain were informed of the decision.

"The closure of the purse seine fishery is necessary to protect the fragile stock of bluefin tuna and to ensure its recovery," the commission said.

Date created : 2010-06-09

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