When I lived in Marshfield, Mass. I sometimes would go down to Green Harbor and watch the fisherman unload the giant tunas they had caught around the Stellwagen Bank of the North Atlantic. At current prices, the bluefin tuna can fetch more than $100,000 for a single fish weighing around 1,430 pounds, making them a very hot commodity. The lucrative fish are quickly trucked up to Boston and loaded onto a waiting cargo plane at Logan International Airport, where they are flown overnight to Japan.
Those fisherman can now continue catching the bluefin tuna for profit, after a ban on bluefin tuna trade failed to pass a 175-nation meeting aimed at protecting endangered species.
The decision was made by the U.N. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES, at a meeting held in Doha, Qatar. The United States had favored bans on tuna and polar bears and was disappointed in the vote, but a resolution that would make climate change a factor in future decisions by CITES has yet to be decided.
Bluefin tuna stocks in the Atlantic, which are seen as a prized delicacy in Japan, are down more than 80 percent since 1970, according to CITES. Japan imports around 80 percent of the bluefin tuna catch.
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