bluefin tuna-cc-Tom Puchner

Countries fishing the Eastern Pacific Ocean for bluefin tuna have heeded scientific advice agreeing to almost halve their fishing quotas for the prized but beleaguered fish.

The European Union, US, Mexico, China, and Japan, along with 16 other nations belonging to the Inter American Tropical Tuna Commission agreed to establish a catch quota of 6600 tons of Pacific Bluefin tuna for commercial catches spread over the next two years. That achieves a 45 percent reduction, almost meeting the reduction of 50 percent recommended by the International Scientific Committee for tuna.

“This decision is vital to the survival of the Pacific Bluefin Tuna, as is evidenced by the current catch being 90 percent composed of young juveniles yet to breed and the breeding stock estimated to be down to just four percent of original levels,” said Pablo Guerrero, Eastern Pacific Ocean Tuna Coordinator for WWF’s Smart Fishing Initiative.

In June 2012, the group of nations set a tuna quota in the eastern Pacific for the first time ever. Last year the quota was reduced to 5000 metric tons for all of 2014. This new significant cut could lead to a Pacific bluefin tuna recovery.

The hope is that these same countries, especially the US, Mexico and Japan, will also agree to similar cuts to Pacific Bluefin Tuna elsewhere, when the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission meets in Samoa in December.

SOURCE: WWF –  Photo by Tom Puchner via CC license

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