Is the sun setting on Japan’s tuna fishing industry? Faced with a recent report that the bluefin tuna population is close to collapse, Tokyo has done an about-turn and decided to slash catches by half.
Last year the USA, Japan, China and South Korea agreed to cut catches by 15% of young, under three-year-old fish,
but Japanese fisherman have taken fright and will demand the four nations agree next year to a 10-year plan to cut by 50% the number of fish under 30 kilos. This should allow the species to more easily reproduce and recover.
Japan is also to propose an ‘early warning system’, letting fishermen know when they are approaching the limit of their quota, when they have to stop fishing completely.
This is designed to minimise disruption and allow the industry to better anticipate periods of no activity.