Yesterday, French president Nicolas Sarkozy announced that France backs Monaco’s call for an international trade ban for Atlantic and Mediterranean bluefin tuna.

Ours is the last generation with the ability to take action before it’s too late – we must protect marine resources now, in order to fish better in future. We owe this to fishermen, and we owe it to future generations,” said president Sarkozy at the close of a national stakeholder consultation on France’s future sustainable fisheries and maritime policy, the ‘Grenelle de la Mer’.

Bluefin tuna France joins Monaco in call for international Bluefin tuna trade ban

This means that France joins the growing list of countries and marine experts that wish to place Bluefin tuna under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to give the populations a chance to recuperate.

WWF welcomes the Monaco initiative and the position of France, whose fleets have traditionally caught more bluefin tuna than any other country,” said Dr Sergi Tudela, Head of Fisheries at WWF Mediterranean.

The Principality of Monaco was the first state to announce its willingness to sponsor a proposal to ban international trade in Bluefin tuna and the country is now seeking the support of other states in whose waters this species lives.

In terms of eligibility for a listing on CITES Appendix I, Atlantic bluefin tuna ticks every box – and then some,” said Dr Susan Lieberman, Director of WWF’s Global Species Programme.

The next CITES conference will be held next year in Qatar, but proposals have to be submitted by 17 October to be eligible for consideration.