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ESG calls for tuna fishing ban

Sports fishermen fish an Atlantic bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean sea, in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, August 16, 2019. Picture taken August 16, 2019. REUTERS/Jon Nazca

The Environmental Safety Group yesterday called for tuna fishing to be banned in Gibraltar adding the species should receive full protection from both sides of the border.

The Group said its fundamental objective is the conservation and protection of this species and for some years they have been observing the developments regarding the local
fishing of tuna from Gibraltar.

This year’s Bluefin Tuna Open Season is set to close on October 14 or when the total allowed catch is reached.

Earlier this month the Gibraltar Government increased the quota for this year’s Bluefin tuna season from 13.6 tonnes to 19.81 tonnes, which was in accordance with the recent increase in quotas set by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, No.6 Convent Place said.

“The Group would like to see tuna fishing banned in Gibraltar as we strive towards the conservation of our habitats and biodiversity especially as we exit Brexit and assume responsibility of the management of our waters,” the ESG said in a press statement.

“The Group believes the Bay and Straits are important ecological zones for resident and
migratory species and should therefore receive full protection from both sides of the
border.”

The ESG said it supports the views held by both GONHS and the Nautilus Project on conservation, and also supports the “responsible actions” taken both by the Department and Ministry for the Environment in controlling and managing tuna fishing.

“While arguments rage over hunting from the wild and the issues surrounding the
supply of this meat for human consumption, the ESG considers any animal or fish
deemed to be endangered by the IUCN should simply cease to be killed for sport
while other options such as tag and release, itself not without controversy or lethal
implications for these creatures, be fully studied and considered beforehand,” the Group said.

“The ESG believes that Gibraltar should be supporting all efforts to conserve the
magnificent creatures we are so privileged to enjoy and admire in our seas and
pursue a ban on local tuna fishing.”

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