WWF is concerned about critically low stock status of Pacific bluefin tuna | WWF

WWF is concerned about critically low stock status of Pacific bluefin tuna

Posted on
29 August 2016
Fukuoka, Japan. Members of the Northern Committee (NC)* of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission  (WCPFC) and of the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) meeting this  week in Japan need to agree to a rigorous recovery plan to prevent the collapse of the Pacific bluefin tuna stock. They urgently need to expand the target size of juvenile Pacific bluefin tuna from the current 30kg to 85kg, and to introduce a catch limit for adult Pacific bluefin tuna. Unless the delegates, including Japan, take proactive steps toward implementing robust control measures it is unlikely that the Pacific bluefin tuna population will recover.
 
Dr. Aiko Yamauchi, the leader of Oceans and Seafood Group ,WWF Japan, who is attending the meeting is  concerned that: “The failure of the adoption of a long-term stock recovery plan in the session means that both the Northern Committee and IATTC do not work as intended.”
 
WWF believes that it is necessary to consider the suspension of Pacific bluefin tuna fishery across the Pacific Ocean unless important conservation measures are agreed in 2016.
 
Pacific bluefin tuna is one of the most valuable fisheries in the Northern Pacific Ocean, supporting a billion dollar industry that sustains the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people. Japan is the largest consuming country of Pacific bluefin tuna and the stock is critically low because it has been overfished for years. The latest report by International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean (ISC) in July 2016 reveals that the Pacific bluefin tuna stock has depleted to 2.6% compared to the unfished level. ISC warns that both the levels of the Pacific bluefin tuna stocks and the recovery have fallen to a level at which continued commercial fishing is unsustainable.
 
WWF asks the delegates at the session:
  1. To agree Limit Reference Point (exceeding the limit that might endanger the capacity of self-renewal of the stock) and Target Reference Points for the Pacific bluefin tuna.
  2. To adopt a long-term Pacific bluefin tuna recovery plan targeting at above the agreed Limit Reference Point by 2030.
  3. To expand the target size of juvenile Pacific bluefin tuna conservation measures from the current 30kg or less to 85kg or less, and to introduce a catch limit for adult Pacific bluefin tuna.
  4. 4)   To establish the Catch Documentation Scheme (CDS) for the thorough monitoring of the Pacific bluefin tuna fishery.
*The 12th Regular Session of the Northern Committee, Western & Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) is being held  in Fukuoka, Japan from August 29 - September 2. In the session, WCPFC will jointly hold a meeting with Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC) to discuss the serious stock status of Pacific Bluefin Tuna.
Media contact:        
  • Aiko Yamauchi. Fishery and Seafood Project Leader WWF JapanTel:03-3769-1713  Fax:03-3769-171  e-mail: ayamauchi@wwf.or.jp
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