Press release – 24 November, 2010Today, Australia’s Environment Minister failed to take the action needed to protect the iconic Southern Bluefin Tuna from overfishing.Minister Burke has decided not to class Southern Bluefin Tuna as a critically endangered species on Australia’s Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act List.
Greenpeace’s spokesperson Genevieve Quirk said that “Minister Burke has failed to follow the science and protect the critically endangered Southern Bluefin Tuna.”
“His decision sets an alarming precedent under the EPBC Act. Southern Bluefin Tuna is under 5% of its original population and despite a new classification, there is still no plan to manage the survival of this species. Minister Burke has set Southern Bluefin Tuna on the pathway to extinction,” said Ms Quirk.
The story of Bluefin Tuna is clearly one of profits before conservation. The Southern Bluefin Tuna fisheries Industry maintains a deadlock to progress on the protection of this iconic fish.
It is a tragedy the Minister for the Environment has followed in the footsteps of fisheries ministers and managers who continue to ignore the science and allow fishing to continue on a critically endangered species,” said Quirk.
Southern bluefin was made eligible for a listing as endangered on Australia’s threatened species list by the Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) in 2005. Since this time the Convention for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna the international body charged with its conservation still have not agreed on a management procedure for the species.