Bluefin tuna saold at a fish market. (Photo: Stock File)
Japan exceeds annual juvenile Pacific bluefin limit
Saturday, April 29, 2017, 00:30 (GMT + 9)
Japan has already exceeded the annual limit on its catches of immature Pacific bluefin tuna, breaking an international commitment only two years after the regulation was introduced.
In 2015 the country and other members of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) agreed to limit its catch of the species weighing less than 30 kilograms, under an international agreement aimed at conserving it.
The announcement was made by the Fisheries Agency, which issued a preliminary report revealing that the domestic catch of the species, a popular choice for sushi and other Japanese dishes, reached 4,008 tons, topping the limit of 4,007 tons for the year through June, Kyodo reported.
The agency also explained that the result was due to unusually large catches in western Japan as well as tuna inadvertently caught in nets fixed for other species of fish and clarified that the excess catch for the year will be deducted from next year’s quota.
As some of the prefectures that have not yet reached the quotas allocated to them by the government will be allowed to continue fishing, which representatives of the sector fear will further increase Japan's catch for the year.
It also explained that to avoid this type of issues, it plans to introduce tougher regulations next year to penalize offenders.
- Environmentalists accuse Japan of not abiding by bluefin tuna catch quotas