Smaller Pacific bluefin catch quotas drop in 25 prefectures
2017-08-08 12:23:55   copyfrom:    hits:

According to a recent study, only about 40,000 adult Pacific bluefin tuna remain (Photo: Aziz Saltik Flickr)JAPANF

According to a recent study, only about 40,000 adult Pacific bluefin tuna remain. (Photo: Aziz Saltik/Flickr)


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Friday, August 04, 2017, 00:40 (GMT + 9)


The Fisheries Agency of Japan decided to cut this season’s catch quotas on smaller Pacific bluefin tuna for 25 prefectures in an attempt to preserve stocks of the fish.

The move comes after the country’s catches of specimens weighing less than 30 kilograms near shores totalled 2,365.4 tons in the previous season ended in June, far above its limit of 1,884.7 tons, Jiji Press reported.

Besides, the agency informed it will invoke a rule to subtract the previous season’s excess amount of catches from the next season’s quotas for the first time.

This season’s catch quota reductions per prefecture are the following:

  • Nagasaki: by 31.4 tons;
  • Toyama: by 16.7 tons;
  • Miyagi, Chiba: by 10 tons;
  • Hokkaido: by 1.2 tons.

Hiroshima, which had a quota of zero last season, slightly exceeded the limit due to a by-catch. This season, it will have a quota of 0.1 ton, and last season’s excess amount will be subtracted from the quota.

The quota cuts will not cover 14 of 39 prefectures with coastal fishing that did not reach their catch limits last season, including Fukushima and Tokyo.

The agency informed it plans to implement the catch quotas thoroughly, including by lowering the standard for issuing an advisory asking fishers to curb catches when they have a large catch.

Meanwhile, the Japanese government will propose emergency restrictions on the bluefin tuna catches in the northern Pacific if their stocks fall, and an increase in quotas as soon as it seems possible the stock aims can be recovered.

The fishing authorities intend to have these proposals approved at a meeting of the Northern Committee of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) set to start in Busan, South Korea, on August 28.

The Northern Committee comprises 10 members including Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, while the WCPFC has 26 members.

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