Tokyo, Dec. 2 (Jiji Press)–Officials from Japan and 25 other economies began talks online on Wednesday to discuss a proposal for increasing Pacific bluefin tuna catch quotas.
The proposal calls for expanding 2022 catch quotas for large tuna weighing at least 30 kilograms by 15 pct from the 2021 level.
The officials from the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission will continue talks until Tuesday. The proposal was adopted at a subcommittee meeting in October.
If the full commission agrees on the proposal, Japan’s catch quota is expected to increase by 732 tons to 5,614 tons.
Separately, Japan will be able to use 10 pct of its quota for small tuna weighing less than 30 kilograms for large tuna in the next three years.
A Japanese Fisheries Agency official said, “We cannot be optimistic” about the outcome of the meeting. Negotiations “are more about bargaining than about the scientific fact that tuna stocks have been increasing,” the official said.
Until last year, the subcommittee failed to reach an agreement on any quota increase due to opposition from the United States, which had sought to focus on restoring tuna stocks.