The industrial bluefin fishing season in the Mediterranean has closed early.
Earlier this month, the European Commission called a premature halt to end the season over fears that quotas were being filled to quickly.
The move triggered a wave of criticism from leading tuna fishing nations Spain, France and Italy, which accused the commission of using faulty figures.
Nathalie Charbonneau spokesperson for the Fisheries commissioner said, “ If the European Commission takes such a decision it is a decision based on facts and figures. If you exceed the quota, you put the species at risk and next year there may be no more bluefin.”
After talks in Brussels the president of the tuna fishing union claimed “ It’s instant death for fishermen.”
The season would normally run until the end of June, when the fleet brings in 90 percent of its catches, taking as much as 550 tonnes of bluefin per day.
The early close will mean more conflict between Brussels and the industry as they meet in Luxembourg on Tuesday to discuss soaring fuel prices.