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The fisheries ministry calls for sustainable use of marine resources in its first annual report under the basic fisheries law that went into effect in June.

The fiscal 2001 white paper, issued Friday, says “not a few species” of marine resources are declining both in waters surrounding Japan and in global fishing areas, largely due to a deteriorating environment and overfishing.

Domestic regulations have been unable to prevent excessive fishing and maintain an appropriate level of resources, the report says, and poaching by foreign fishing vessels has led to decreasing fish stocks.

Regarding sport fishing boats, it highlights data showing that catches exceed those by professional fishermen for some species and says this cannot be ignored.

The report calls for a study on how “predation” by marine mammals, including whales and sea lions, affects resources.

On whale resources, the report criticizes the International Whaling Commission, saying it “has failed to function normally for a long period” because it has many members that are “not related to the use of whale resources.”

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tsutomu Takebe presented the report at a meeting of the Cabinet, which endorsed it.

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