Int'l Panel Omits Pacific Bluefin Tuna Quota Hike Again

Politics Economy

Tokyo, Oct. 8 (Jiji Press)--An international panel failed to adopt a Japan-proposed plan to increase catch quotas for Pacific bluefin tuna at an online conference on Thursday, in the same outcome as last year's meeting, Japan's Fisheries Agency said.

The Northern Committee of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission reached the decision, as the United States argued that tuna stocks continue to be scarce in the Pacific and objected to the proposal. At the committee, approval from all members is required for a proposal to be passed.

Japan claimed that the stock of adult bluefin tuna, which are capable of reproducing, has been recovering. It called for a 20 pct expansion in quotas for both fish weighing less than 30 kilograms and larger fish.

The Japanese government plans to propose larger catch quotas again at a meeting of the panel next year after revamping its strategy.

Meanwhile, participants agreed to extend a system in which member economies are allowed to carry over up to 17 pct of their respective annual bluefin tuna quotas to the following year if they did not use up their shares. Although the upper limit is normally set at 5 pct, Japan urged the committee to keep it at 17 pct to support fishers.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press