The dwindling population of bluefin tuna is to receive greater protection from the EU, although measures announced on Monday fall short of the fishing ban environment groups were demanding.
The bloc’s 27 fisheries ministers meeting in Luxembourg will call for stricter controls and lower quotas at a tuna conference in Morocco next month.
European Fisheries Commissioner Joe Borg said: “Time is running out to save the blue-fin tuna stock from collapse. With this position the European Union will be able to champion bold and decisive measures, in particular to resolve the issue of over-capacity, to reduce the length of the fishing seasons and to identify specific measures that can reinforce control throughout the market chain.”
Ecology group Greenpeace had said only a suspension of fishing could save the bluefin.
As for other endangered species, Commissioner Borg announced that fishing for deep-sea sharks will be banned from 2010. Quotas on cod, herring and salmon in the Baltic Sea will also be reduced from this year.