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Senate Passes Kerry Resolution on Bluefin Tuna Conservation

Location: Boston, MA

Senate Passes Kerry Resolution on Bluefin Tuna Conservation

Senator John Kerry announced that the United States Senate has passed his resolution to strengthen tuna conversation measures that would protect the livelihood of hundreds of Massachusetts, and New England, fishermen.

Fishermen throughout New England are currently facing drastic tuna shortages, because European fishermen are harvesting a majority of the fish before the fish are able to swim to the waters off of New England.

The resolution calls for a three to five year moratorium on bluefin tuna fishing in the eastern Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea to allow the stocks to increase. New England fishermen have agreed to cease their fishing as well to allow for the species to recover.

"New England's bluefin tuna stocks are declining and in danger of collapsing, and we must act now before it's too late. The most effective way to protect the tuna stocks is to put in place a moratorium now so that they can start being replenished. It's a critical step to save the livelihoods of hundreds of Massachusetts fishermen," said Senator Kerry. "I am happy that the United States is taking a leadership role in pressing other nations to help restore the fisheries, and I hope the international community recognizes the importance of enacting a moratorium and follows through immediately."

The resolution also encourages additional research to be done on the relationship between the western Atlantic, eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean bluefin tuna stocks and how they effect one another. Additionally, the resolution seeks to strengthen the conservation and management of the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean stock, reevaluate the International Commission of the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna's recovery plan for this stock and address noncompliance by parties to the Convention.

Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), John Sununu (R-N.H.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) joined Kerry in co-sponsoring the resolution

The ICCAT is meeting this week in Turkey to discuss such measures.

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