Japan’s large Pacific bluefin tuna catch limit to be raised in 2024

Photo: WWF

An international commission responsible for managing Pacific bluefin tuna stocks has decided to allow Japan to effectively increase its catch limit for larger sizes in 2024, reflecting a recovery in their population, the Japanese Fisheries Agency said Sunday. 

The country, known as a major tuna consumer, can currently transfer 10 percent of its small bluefin catch quota to those weighing 30 kilograms or more, but the proportion will be increased to 30 percent for 2024. 

The decision was reached during an annual meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission held in the Cook Islands, which wrapped up on Saturday. The meeting was attended in person or online by 26 countries and regions including Japan and the United States. 

With strict control measures helping the recovery of the Pacific bluefin tuna population after it was impacted by overfishing, the commission decided in 2021 on a 15 percent increase to the catch limit for larger fish. 

The plan to enhance the measure of transferring the small fish catch to larger ones had been agreed upon by members during a meeting of a subordinate panel in July.

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