Posted by: reefrescue | March 28, 2010

Environmentalists fume over CITES’ failure to protect marine life

Coral, bluefin tuna and 6 species of shark fail to receive protection

A bid to ban the international export of Atlantic bluefin tuna, which is a key ingredient in sushi, was killed along with regulations on the pink and red coral trade. Six species of sharks failed to get protection despite studies showing their numbers had fallen by as much as 85 percent due to the booming fin trade in China and other parts of Asia.

DOHA, Qatar — Aggressive lobbying from Asian nations led by Japan killed all efforts to protect marine species at a U.N. meeting, leaving environmentalists fuming Thursday that efforts to conserve bluefin tuna and sharks were undermined by commercial interests.

The 175-nation Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES, opened two weeks ago with calls from the United States and Europeans to give a lifeline to overfished oceans. But the meeting ended Thursday with little to show for their efforts.

“This conference has been a disaster for conservation,” said Oliver Knowles of Greenpeace. “Country after country has come out at this meeting arguing for business as usual and continued trade in wildlife species that are already devastated by human activity.”

Click to read entire LA Times article

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