New bluefin tuna fishing quota criticized

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- Environmental groups say a new quota for the commercial fishing of bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean will threaten the fish's survival.

On Monday, The European Union, U.S., Japan and other members of the 46-nation International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas voted in Marrakech, Morocco, to grant a quota of 22,000 tons for 2009.

That is 7,000 tons more than what scientists from the same organization had recommended.

Environmental groups such as WWF, Greenpeace and Oceana said Tuesday the new quota will push the once-bountiful stocks beyond commercial recovery.

Bluefin tuna is hunted for its fatty meat, which fetches top prices on the Japanese market as an ingredient for sushi and sashimi.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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