Tuna catastrophe

Environmentalists say new bluefin quotas could devastate the species

Conservationists knocked the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas for its quota of next year’s catch.

The 22,000 tons of bluefin allowed by the 46- member organization could lead to the collapse of the tuna-fishing industry in the Mediterranean, say the group’s own scientists, who had suggested a maximum limit of 15,000 tons.

Officials from the World Wildlife Fund, the world’s largest conservation organization, charge that the United States initially supported the lower quotas but caved under pressure from the European Commission.

Mark Stevens, WWF’s senior fisheries officer, vowed that the group would lobby for stringent trade controls that could be tied to the survival of the species. Others have called for a boycott on all dishes containing the fish, which is a popular ingredient in sushi and sashimi.