Surprised, shocked, frustrated, angry, depressed, concerned, saddened, embarrassed. Anyone of these words would describe the feeling I had when I awoke to find out that the governments of the world have made yet another ‘stupid’ decision.

The result from the Doha meeting of CITES seems to be the final nail in the coffin for the bluefin tuna and it doesn’t look a much different fate for the sharks. But why should we feel surprised? The scientists have provided all the evidence. The board of the FAO has decided that the current path is a downward spiral to extinction. This is all due to under-managed, over greedy fisheries and fishermen whose shortsightedness and common sense is so bad, that they probably have to rely on their ships radar just to get out of the harbour.

Blue fin tuna

The scientists and some of the smarter fishermen have been telling ICAAT for years that the catch quotas must be reduced massively or else we have major problems. Even ICAAT’s own scientists have warned them, but they did not listen. This was why the issue was directed to CITES. Again the scientists provide all the facts, and the decision is left to some government representatives, whose sole intention is the protection of their countries economic standpoint. Japan has acted, as Japan acts in matters such as these. Their delegates have been very busy courting and pressuring representatives to vote against the ban with who knows what incentives or threats. The same tactics prevail every year at the IWC (International Whaling Commission) so no real surprises here.

“Thursday's decision occurred after Japan, Canada and many poor nations opposed the measure on the grounds it would devastate fishing economies.” - BBC News


Blue fin tuna

One would have thought the extinction of a highly prized fish would be the most devastating thing to affect fishing economies, however it’s all about “cash now, worry about it later”. Later, being their children’s future. They will not forgive their parents narrow-mindedness and selfishness when they sit and listen to stories of the great tuna feasts we all enjoyed, when we were your age!

For the conservationists around the world, this defeat and failure of the governments to act only strengthens their will to fight on, even harder now as the shift of the power to act moves from the governments into the hands of concerned individuals. Bring forth the Sea Shepherds and other similar organizations that act when governments fail to, in the interests of the species and the general citizens of this planet.

Now the line has been crossed! The issue has been pushed before the highest government body there is, and it has failed to act in our interests. This is now a conservational call to arms, a peaceful uprising of a new kind that will affect the daily fabric of our society.

This time the revolution WILL be televised!!

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