Greenpeace Slams Cyprus on Bluefin Tuna Issue
Cyprus' fishery industry was slammed by Greenpeace bloggers today for fighting a fishing ban on Atlantic Bluefin tuna, which are an estimated three years away from extinction.
New information shows that 34.5 million euros were paid in EU subsidies to Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain, the so-called 'Club Med' of southern Mediterranean fishing countries, said Greenpeace.
"Yes folks, your tax helped fund the overfishing of a species now teetering on the very brink of extinction. A species that 21 out of 27 EU countries now think should be subject to an international trade ban," wrote a Greenpeace blogger in the UK.
Of the €34.5m total, some €33.5m was for the construction and modernisation of fishing vessels, and only a tiny proportion (€1m) for decommissioning boats, according to Greenpeace.
The tuna that is exported from Cyprus (exclusively to Japan) is farmed. Cyprus is one of seven EU member states against which the European Commission has started infringement procedures for failing to send catch reports data to the Commission, and for showing a lack of obligation and responsibility to the bluefin tuna recovery plan agreed by ICCAT in 2006.
Stocks of the fish in the Mediterranean have hit almost extinction level, according to experts, with bluefin tuna thought to be below 18% of the total in 1970.