Japan’s Fisheries Agency has announced its plan to cut its catch of young bluefin tuna all over the country by half of its annual average in the years 2002 to 2004 starting next year. The plan was set by the agency to help protect the declining stocks of the tuna in the Pacific Ocean.
Often used in sushi, the bluefin tuna stocks have fallen substantially in the past years. Most catches recently are comprised of juvenile tuna. In the plan by the agency, catches of tuna aged three years or younger will be reduced. Specific steps to reduce it will be discussed by the agency with industry officials in the coming weeks. In December of last year, the international body for tuna stock management in the Pacific called Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, ordered a a cut of at least 15 percent in catches of immature bluefin tuna for the year 2014 based on the 2002-2004 average.
While the plans to slash tuna stocks are sure to affect market prices, the Japanese agency aims to set precedent in restoring tuna stocks, as the fish will find difficulty in increasing if quota is not reduced. Japan also hopes that its move will encourage other nations to follow suit. The agency is calling for a 50 percent reduction plan by next year and will submit the proposal to a subcommittee meeting of the WCPFC in September.
[via Jiji Press]
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