Finally, France supports trade ban on bluefin tuna

Posted by Willie — 4 February 2010 at 12:17pm - Comments

At last, France has officially announced support for an international trade ban on Atlantic bluefin. This is great news. It means that 23 out of the 27 EU countries now support the species being protected by CITES (the organisation which regulates trade in endangered species). It also means there is no longer any effective block to stop the EU reaching a common position (at a previous vote, it had been blocked by the Mediterranean countries).

Two of the main fishing nations, Italy and France are supporting the trade ban, and Italy has already declared it is suspending its own fishery. That is pretty momentous. It's as if the proverbial turkeys have just voted for Christmas by a landslide.

What happened to your promise to protect bluefin, M Sarkozy?

Posted by jossc — 23 September 2009 at 3:28pm - Comments

First of all, apologies to any non-French speakers watching this video, because it's not going to make any sense. So why do I want you to see it? Well, it's more just as supporting evidence (see the transcript below), because this is the statement made by French President Nicolas Sarkozy on 16 July, in which he promised "complete French support regarding the listing of bluefin tuna to the international wild species convention, in order to ban any trade in this fish".

Bluefin-Eating Surrender Monkeys?

Posted by Willie — 21 September 2009 at 7:13pm - Comments

It's de rigueur in some quarters to dismiss France jokingly, as the Simpsons and some US political-types famously have done in the past. But the news today from Brussels suggests that the French government have made an embarrassing volte-face on bluefin tuna.

EDF caught spying on Greenpeace in France

Posted by jamie — 2 April 2009 at 4:16pm - Comments

With echoes of that fantastic/horrifying nuclear thriller Edge Of Darkness (don't wait for the film, see the original TV series), energy giant EDF has been busted for spying on our colleagues at the Greenpeace in France.

Five people have been indicted by the French courts, including two EDF security executives, a computer expert and the head of a private investigation firm. The charge: attempting to hack into Greenpeace computer systems in France.

Ship of fools sails off laden with nuclear fuel

Posted by jamie — 6 March 2009 at 1:14pm - Comments

Greenpeace volunteers protest as a container of plutonium nuclear fuel is driven past in Cherbourg, France

Mention Cherbourg and what springs to mind? Brigit Bardot skipping through the rain with a song on her lips, twirling one of those famous umbrellas? Sadly, that was all a long time ago and the quaint port of Jacques Demy's masterpiece is now a major link in the fuel chain for Japan's nuclear power stations.

Yesterday, a shipment of plutonium mixed oxide (Mox) fuel left France bound for Japan. It's the first shipment of Mox fuel to Japan in eight years, and the largest shipment of plutonium the world has ever seen - 1.8 tonnes of it in fact, enough to make 225 nuclear weapons.

UK nuclear capacity in meltdown

Posted by jossc — 6 October 2008 at 4:59pm - Comments

Hartlepool nuclear plant
Hartlepool nuclear plant - completely out of action

Should you happen to find yourself debating with a passionate supporter of nuclear power about how to supply our country's future energy needs, the odds are that pretty early in the debate they'll play their trump card - namely that only nuclear can supply the 'base load' necessary to ensure that the lights stay on throughout the long, dark British winter. Hang the dangers of radioactivity, forget the ruinous expense, they'll say - we can't do without nuclear power.

France bans Monsanto's GM maize

Posted by jamie — 15 January 2008 at 4:28pm - Comments

Sacre bleu. At the end of last week, French president Nicolas Sarkozy took a stand against biotech giant Monsanto and banned a strain of GM maize which has previously been grown by French farmers.

Their MON 810 variety - according to AFP, the only type of GM maize currently being grown in France - has been withdrawn after a committee of scientists, farmers and politicians raised doubts over its continued use. Advocating the precautionary principle, Sarkozy invoked an EU clause to stop Monsanto's maize being grown.

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