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An advisory panel proposed setting the annual catch quota for Japanese flying squid at 57,000 tons, the lowest ever, for the 2020 fishing year starting next month.

The Fisheries Policy Council, which advises the agriculture, forestry and fisheries minister, suggested cutting the quota by 14.9 percent from the previous year, noting Monday that flying squid stocks are decreasing due to a worsening marine environment.

Water temperatures are rising in the East China Sea, making it difficult for the squid to lay eggs and for eggs to hatch, people familiar conditions there said.

Catches of the squid have been sluggish, falling to a record low 44,000 tons in the 2018 fishing year. In the first nine months of the 2019 fishing year, catches came to 21,000 tons, far below the quota of 67,000 tons.

Some specialists suggest that the decline in flying squid stocks can be attributed to increasing catches by China and North Korea in the Sea of Japan.

But the actual situation is unknown, as there is no international body to manage flying squid stocks like the one for bluefin tuna.

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