Tuna catch quota to rise 40 percent

JIJI

Japan’s catch quota of southern bluefin tuna for 2015-2017 will increase to 4,737 tons per year, up about 40 percent from that for 2014, the Fisheries Agency said Thursday.

The Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna adopted the quota at an annual meeting in Australia.

Southern bluefin tuna stocks decreased at one point, but the commission expanded catch quotas after confirming their recovery as a result of stronger resource protection and management.

The agency, however, expects the increased catch quota to have little impact on retail prices here, because southern bluefin, both wild and farmed, account for only about 3 percent of total annual tuna supply in the country, which came to 375,000 tons in 2011.

Imported, low-price farmed southern bluefin tuna are provided at conveyor-belt sushi restaurants in Japan, while rare, wild ones are served at posh sushi shops and restaurants.

Members of the commission include Japan, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea.