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Int'l commission allows 15% rise in Pacific bluefin tuna catch limit

This file photo shows bluefin tuna landed at a port in Sakaiminato in Tottori Prefecture, western Japan, in June 2021. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Pacific fisheries commission decided Tuesday to raise fishing quotas for large bluefin tuna by 15 percent next year compared with 2021 levels, the first increase since harvest restrictions on the popular fish for sushi were introduced in 2015.

    Japan had been seeking higher quotas since 2018 only to face opposition from the United States and some other countries. The online meeting came after data showed recently that the stock of large Pacific bluefin tuna weighing 30 kilograms or more has been recovering despite concerns about depletion.

    The decision by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission will enable Japan to catch an additional 732 tons of the type, bringing its total quota to 5,614 tons. In the country, about 30,000 tons of Pacific bluefin tuna has been supplied annually, including aquaculture and imports.

    The commission maintained, however, the catch limit of smaller bluefin tuna to mitigate impact on future management of the resource. Japan is currently allowed to catch 4,007 tons of the species weighing less than 30 kilograms.

    The commission concluded the annual meeting that started last Wednesday, joined by 26 countries and regions.

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