Despite the best efforts of Greenpeace, PETA, and OCEANA, the proposed ban on the trade of endangered bluefin tuna was rejected yesterday at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Doha. Per The Economist, tensions ran high during the voting among the 175 nations in attendance. Proposed by Monaco, the ban was backed by the E.U. and the U.S., but Libya was so against it that its delegate reportedly started “screaming and calling everyone liars… He said the science was no good and that it was part of a conspiracy of developed countries.”
The ban was rejected with 68 votes against, 20 in favor, and 30 abstentions. It is technically possible that the issue be put back on the agenda before CITES ends on March 25. Otherwise, it will have to wait until the next CITES meeting in three years. According to the research cited, bluefin populations may be so depleted by then that a ban would simply be too little, too late.
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