Citing the exhaustion of quotas, the European Commission closed the EU Mediteranean bluefin tuna fishery on 9 June, one week before the season was due to end.
French fishermen protested, saying some vessels had not used up their individual quota. The government has allocated the 171 tonnes of unused French quota to coastal and artisanal vessels who are not affected by the closure.
NGOs consider that the early end to the fishing season highlights the overcapacity of the purse seine tuna fleet, and that the fishery should not have been opened at all in 2010.
Commission press release: Commission closes the purse seine fishery.
Greenpeace press release: Bluefin tuna fished out for 2010.
WWF press release: EU tuna boats reaching quota in a week sign of massive overcapacity.
Communiqué by French Ministry of Fisheries: Bluefin tuna: France receives the report of unfished quota
Europêche press release: European shipowners protest against the Commission’s early general closure of the bluefin tuna fishing campaign