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Deputy Director, Shingo Ota, Fisheries Agency, explaining the results of an international conference on Pacific bluefin tuna to reporters in Oregon

Japan would take over 300 tons of bluefin tuna quota from Taiwan

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Monday, September 09, 2019, 02:00 (GMT + 9)

The Western & Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), North Subcommittee, which discusses the management of Pacific bluefin tuna and other resources, closed in Portland, USA on the 6th local time and agreed that Japan would take over 300 tons of large fish catch from Taiwan only for 2020.

Temporarily, for Japan, large fish will increase by about 6%. The overall catch quota proposed by Japan was deferred against the US.

Japan's current fishing quota is 4007 tons for small fish (less than 30 kg) and 4882 tons for large fish (over 30 kg). Japan suggested expanding the frame by 10% for small fish and 20% for large fish, due to the increase in the number of fry during the last 17 and 18 years.

According japaneses sources, the US on the other hand, strongly opposes, claiming that the amount of resources remains low. As a general rule, the proposals were passed unanimously, and Japan's proposal to increase the number of slots was not allowed following the previous year. Japan plans to propose a new frame at the North Subcommittee next year based on the latest data such as the amount of resources.

►US delegation remarks at the meeting of North Subcommittee of Western & Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC)

The North Committee also agreed that if the quota was not used up, it would raise the current system, which can be carried forward to the next year up to 5% of the quota, to 17% only for 20 years. The handling after 21 years, including the transfer from Taiwan, will be discussed next year.

Mr. Shingo Ota, Deputy Director of the Resource Management Department of the Fisheries Agency at the press conference after the closing, said, “I claimed that the resource recovery prediction was good, but it was different from the US point of view. I would like to thank Taiwan for giving up the frame".

The chief officer of Zhang Zhi Sheng (Cabinet) Agricultural Committee Fisheries Office held a conference on Taiwan day 8 and announced that it transferred 300 tons of large fish quota allocated to Taiwan to Japan, which had been seeking to expand the quota for bluefin tuna

The Taiwanese chief officer of Zhang Zhi Sheng (Photo: japan.cna.com.tw) 

The WCPFC meeting started on the 3rd in Portland, Oregon, western United States. Japan called for an increase of 20% for large fish over 30 kg and 10% for small fish under 30 kg, but was unable to meet the US against the premature opposition. Instead, they agreed to transfer 300 tons of large fish from Taiwan, but the actual increase is only about 6%. There is no expansion of the frame for small fish, and it is unclear whether it will lead to dissatisfaction with coastal fishermen.

Kinki University’s Fisheries Laboratory has succeeded in the full farm cultivation of bluefin tuna. (Photo: gov-online.go.jp)

The Japanese newspaper Nikkei comented that "there are few views in the market that the outcome of this meeting will affect tuna prices. Currently, Toyosu Market (Tokyo and Koto) has a lot of tuna loaded with winter fat from Australia and New Zealand in the southern hemisphere. The aquaculture technology is also evolving, and many cultured tuna are supplied from Kyushu and Shikoku. The person concerned said, “It is more expensive to ship an appropriate amount during the season when the fat is on than to take small tuna with few resources in the North Pacific” (Toyosu wholesaler).

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