Bluefin tuna recovery could see catch quota hiked in 2014


Countries are expected to agree to raise the bluefin tuna catch quota in the eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean for 2014 when they meet later this month, sources said.

A decision to raise the quota slightly is likely at this year’s annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) because of a recovery in stock, the sources noted.

The meeting of the Madrid-based commission is set for Nov. 18-25 in South Africa.

A recommendation issued by the ICCAT’s scientific committee last month would allow for a minor increase in the quota, a Japanese fishing industry official said.

The committee is responsible for giving the full commission advice from a scientific viewpoint.

The catch quota is expected to continue rising in the years to come at a time when fishing regulations in the Pacific are set to be strengthened starting next year due to diminishing stock.

This year’s quota was raised by 500 tons from the previous year to 13,400 tons, the first increase in 10 years. For 2014, a further increase to 14,000 tons or more is likely.

Some nations are seeking to keep the quota unchanged to ensure a recovery in stock but many members, especially Mediterranean countries, want an increase, the sources said.

In 2012, the scientific committee confirmed an uptick in Atlantic bluefin tuna stock, which was once in danger of extinction. The ICCAT hopes to fully restore stock levels by 2022.

  • Michael Williams

    I love bluefin tuna, but we really need to continue international pressure to maintain the quota as is. If the numbers are really increasing, they should be allowed to do so for a longer amount of time. This would allow sustained production and economic growth in the future, while this apex predator maintains an ecological balance in its environment.

  • Brian Barber

    seriously???? i just saw a thing on Nat Geo monday night about bluefin and how the fisherman and even scientists cant even find them but when they did they found a school of about 1000 or so, none like they use to be small guys ranging from 40lbs to 300 was their guess.. so leave the qouta alone…its all about money, all those ppl in japan crying about bluefin, they will be ok let the stocks rebuild,, look how Bsb and how grouper is doing here in the south Atlantic reef…is the bio mass at a sustainable level? i doubt it, notice how this article never said anything about that