3 Dec 2008

Yellowfin tuna cut proposed ahead of Pacific fisheries meeting

5:17 pm on 3 December 2008

The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission is proposing that the catch of yellowfin tuna in the region be cut by 30 percent.

The Kyodo news agency reports the proposal by what is more normally known as the Tuna Commission would have a major impact on Japanese fishermen and consumers as Japan leads the world in catching the fish.

The Commission is to hold its annual meeting in South Korea next week.

It says the species is subject to overfishing and will be placed in dire straits in the near future unless changes in quotas are made.

The Commission wants immediate reductions in catches using seines and is seeking an agreement on setting a three-month moratorium on fishing and controlling the use of devices to draw fish.

On long-line fishing, the proposal calls for a gradually expanded reduction from 10 percent in 2009, 20 percent in 2010 and 30 percent in 2011.

The international conservation group Greenpeace recently called for the aggregate quota of yellowfin tuna to be halved.