By Giles Elgood

BRUSSELS
AN influential global network of governments, scientists and conservationists has called for a ban on fishing for the Mediterranean bluefin tuna, a highly prized species which is threatened with extinction.

Members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) passed a resolution which urges a total ban on fishing the species and for the creation of a sanctuary for bluefin tuna around the Balearics.

Although non-binding, the motion passed late Monday will strengthen the hand of parties seeking tough new rules on tuna fishing at a meeting next month of the global body which overseas the industry, the Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna. “Common sense is now promising to bring an end to the real shame in the international system of fisheries management,” said Sergi Tudela of WWF (formerly the World Wild Fund for Nature) who welcomed the result of the vote at a IUCN congress in Barcelona.

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