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Closure of this year's Spanish and French Bluefin Tuna purse seine fishery

Press release - 30/5/2012

The Bluefin Tuna purse seine season lasting from 16 May to 14 June came to an early end this year for France and Spain.

The purse seine quota allocated to both countries was exhausted yesterday at 20:00 and both Member States have decided to call back their vessels to port. The Commission has closely cooperated with both Member states since the beginning of the fishing campaign and welcome their decision to act swiftly and rapidly.

The 6 Spanish and the 9 French purse seiners were operating together in Joint Fishing Operations, which has lead to a more rapid exhaustion of their quota.

This is a clear indication that the ICCAT (International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas) and EU rules are effective since no vessels can continue to remain at sea once the quota is exhausted. The Commission, in close coordination with France and Spain as well as with other Member States continues to closely monitor the other fishing activities on Bluefin Tuna, namely done by small scale fisheries and by traps.