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WWF blasts Greek plans for bluefin tuna-fattening farm

by Staff Writers
Athens (AFP) Jan 9, 2009
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on Friday slammed Athens over plans for a second bluefin tuna-fattening farm the group fears will exacerbate over-fishing of the species in the Mediterranean.

Greece's authorisation of an additional bluefin tuna fattening farm "shows the indifference of the country towards the protection of this species," a WWF representative in Greece told AFP.

There is already a "surplus" of these farms in Greece, Yiorgos Paximadism -- in charge of tuna with WWF Greece -- told AFP.

Despite a 1,000-tonne capacity, the 2008 quota for Greece's existing bluefin tuna-fattening farm in the Ionian Sea stood at 477 tonnes.

The second farm, on the island of Crete, would add to this an additional 1,100-tonne capacity.

Environmental groups also blasted Greece for not attending the November conference of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), which saw bluefin fishing quotas further reduced.

"This absence also shows Greece's indifference at protecting bluefin tuna," said the head of Greenpeace in Greece, Antzela Lazou.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature said ICCAT's quota reductions for Mediterranean bluefin tuna -- over-fished in particular by France, Italy and Spain -- were insufficient for protecting the species.

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