The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation joins forces with WWF International.
The official agreement announced in Switzerland on 4th May 2007 by H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince, in the presence of Mr James P. Leape, the Director of WWF, today materialised with the signing of three conventions between the WWF - an organisation for the protection of wildlife and the environment - and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.
The first concerns the preservation of the bluefin tuna and marks a step towards the protection of this species by offering concrete and sustainable solutions: Firstly, a sustainable fishing system in order to set up a labelling method to be able to work with retailers, restaurant owners and purchasing agents and implement responsible consumption of bluefin tuna; Secondly, to work with national Governments in the Mediterranean Basin in order to create a Sanctuary for bluefin tuna out at sea.
The bluefin tuna is a symbolic species for all the Mediterranean countries. For 4000 years, it has been feeding the populations and yet the new fishing techniques threaten to wipe out the species completely. The signs are revealing: A significant drop in the size of the catch, the large spawning stock (600 kilos) has almost disappeared. Shoals of tuna are located from a plane or high-speed boat, then encircled with a surrounding net measuring one kilometre in length, which doesn’t leave the animal any chance.
The European Commission announced on Wednesday 19th September the closure of bluefin tuna fishing in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic for 2007, due to the depletion of quotas. Following various interventions and recommendations, it has emerged that overfishing and illegal fishing have continued and that the near-disappearance of tuna will have recpercussions on the biodiversity of the Mediterranean, one of three main areas of concern of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.
The partnership with WWF also covers two other projects in Madagascar.
The first to improve access to knowledge of the environment, education and training policies to foster behaviour to promote the conservation of protected areas. The project entitled "Clubs Vintsy" is aimed at disseminating information on a national level in schools and universities.
The second is focused on the preservation of the third largest system of coral reefs in the world, by setting up a protected marine area on the West Coast in Toliara. This site houses a variety of rich habitats, coral reefs, fringing reefs, mangroves and lagoons. The ecological and socio-economic diagnosis of this partnership will enable us to target future conservation activities more effectively by working alongside local players and to promote the sustainable exploitation of resources by means of responsible fishery.
Both projects fall within the scope of the Madagascan Government’s environmental policy whose aim is to increase threefold its protected areas.