Tuna meltdown

Japan is leading dissenter of proposed ban on iconic fish

Many countries are split over a proposal by conservationists to ban the export of Atlantic bluefin tuna, a species of tuna that is prized by sushi lovers, according to The Associated Press.

Opposition has been growing at the 175-nation Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, with Japan as the most vocal dissenter. Japan and several Arab countries have expressed concerns that banning the $7.2 billion-a-year industry would hurt poor fishing nations. Supporters of the ban include the United States and the European Union, which claim the ban is necessary because the Atlantic bluefin is a migratory species that swims from the western Atlantic to the Mediterranean, which puts it beyond any one country’s borders.

Monaco—the sponsor of the proposed ban on the export of the iconic tuna—has claimed that the species has declined in numbers by nearly 75 percent in the last 30 years.

Japan, which consumes 80 percent of the tuna, has said it will ignore the ban if the proposal is passed.