The UN’s Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species rejected a proposal to completely ban the fishing of Bluefin Tuna today. It’s been overfished for years, and populations are down to about 15 or 20% of the population in 1970. But even if the ban had gone through, Japan said they’d opt out of it, which, yes, seems to indicate they don’t understand the meaning of a complete ban. Instead they successfully argued that someone else should regulate the fish catch, not the UN, which seems to me to skirt the point of collapsing fish stocks and completely unsustainable fishing practices (red herring kills the bluefin tuna!), but it worked.
CITES also rejected a ban on trade in polar bear parts. Their meeting continues until the 25th of March, and they’re due to address ivory sales and endangered sharks, too. I feel like with all this important decision-making about the future of some very endangered species, their should have mug shots on their website with important updates about what they’re going to allow to die out more this year, but it’s mostly information about their meeting’s hotel selection. There is a poignant animal slideshow deeper into the site, though.
How depressing this all is! I need to stop imaging a group of bears voting on how many humans to harvest and think of anything else.