Wednesday, 17th November 2010

Malta should reverse position on tuna ranching – Din l-Art Helwa

Din l-Art Helwa has called on the government to reverse its position on tuna ranching and transfer its focus on preserving biodiversity.

In a statement, it noted with disappointment the government’s intention to oppose the EU commission’s plans to to further cut bluefin tuna fishing quotas for next year.

Scientists made it abundantly clear, it said, that unless drastic reductions in catches were made, bluefin tuna would be extinct in a few years’.

“Government’s pretext of protecting the livelihood of our fishermen is merely a red herring because there is no issue with them.

“The real issue is the unsustainable tuna ranches from which the fishermen gain nothing. Notwithstanding this, Malta’s government persists in supporting the lucrative tuna ranching industry that will benefit only a few industrialists to the detriment of others.”

Din l-Art Helwa said that Malta’s reputation in the environmental field had been tarnished over the years by rampant over development, hunting and trapping issues, air pollution and tuna ranching.

It appealed to the government to work to rectify these mistakes, reversing its position on tuna ranching to start with.