The European Union (EU) has banned bluefin tuna fishing in the Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic for the remainder of 2007 as catch quotas for the year have been exhausted.
EU commissioner Joe Borg said there are problems both of overfishing stock already threatened with collapse and of equity between the member states concerned.
The move comes less than one year after a report by global conservation organisation WWF found that bluefin tuna stocks in Mediterranean fishing grounds have decreased by 85% in the last decade.
Chefs in the UK have been urged not to use the fish, which is hugely popular as sashimi in Japan, in their restaurants. Gordon Ramsay recently removed it from his menus after criticism from conservationists and the government.
By Kerstin Kühn