EP vote on tuna – a victory for our common interest

Alternattiva Demokratika – The Green Party said today that the European Parliament’s vote to ban international trading in tuna is a step in the right direction. Such a ban will help local fishermen who supply the local market since traditional fishing will still be permitted. It is a well known fact that the international trading in tuna, a natural resource, is wreaking havoc on this fish’s stock.

AD Chairperson Michael Briguglio said:’A ban on international trade in this species is inevitable.  Overfishing and tuna ranching resulting mainly from large scale fishing taking place over the years caused stocks of this fish to diminish drastically. This industry will survive for maybe another couple of years and then die for good if this ban is not introduced. It is a do or die situation.’

Maltese tuna exporters and ranchers are pressuring the government to fight such a ban. The government and PN and PL MEPs are giving in to the strong multimillion Euro lobby instead of joining the majority of the European Parliament and a majority of European Union countries to take the necessary steps to protect a natural resource and small local fishermen. Some groups in the European Parliament with a history of defending strong industrial lobbies’ interests and who boast of being the largest group, have done the same in the vote on the ban in international trading in tuna. They have defended the interests of strong lobbies instead of the common interest. Thankfully these groups were defeated and their amendment to render the ban ineffective was blocked. Michael Briguglio siad:’AD thanks the Green Group in the European Parliament which chose to defend our common interest and the small traditional fishermen who fish in a sustainable manner.’

Simon Galea, spokesperson on Animal Welfare and Agriculture added:’The ban in international trade in tuna is in the common interest of us all. Fishing can be reassumed once the stock numbers improve. On the other hand fishing will have to cease for good once the species is extinct. Resisting such a ban is attempting suicide. Stricter measures have to be introduced once the ban is lifted. New quotas for sustainable fishing plus better enforcement of such is essential in order to prevent history from repeating itself.’

It is about time the government of Malta joins those of Italy and France by supporting this ban.