Pacific bluefins in depleted state?

 

According to the Pew Charitable Trust, the Pacific bluefin tuna population is at just 3.3% of its unfished level, a conclusion that the NGO says confirms the species’ severely depleted status.

Basing its statement on a recently concluded study by the International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean, Pew says that there is continued need for more effective management of the fishery despite countries finally agreeing last year to a rebuilding plan for the species.

The study found that most of the recent catch has been composed of juvenile fish and that despite the heavily depleted status of the stock, the overal catch rose between 2015 and 2016 as four of the five main fishing nations exceeded their quotas. It points out that the estimated number of Pacific bluefin spawned in 2016 was more than double that in 2015 but only slightly above the average over the past 50 years.

Pew calls upon the IATTC and WCPFC to take a science-based approach to ensure that the population is indeed on the road to recovery and must agree on a Pacific-wide harvest strategy that includes precautionary objectives and pre-agreed rules for managing the fishery.

Source: INFOFISH International 4/2018

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