Japan plans to slash by half the amount of
juvenile bluefin tuna taken from the Northern Pacific starting in 2015, compared to the
2002-2004 average, reports said Sunday. The Fisheries Agency has decided to increase protection
for bluefin tuna amid international concerns about declining stocks, according to major
media, including the Yomiuri Shimbun and the Mainichi Shimbun. Studies have found stocks
of bluefin tuna, prized by sushi lovers, have fallen dramatically, with juveniles forming
the majority of specimens now being caught, pushing the species closer to extinction.
Last year, an international conference involving Japan agreed to cut each nation’s quota for
juvenile bluefin tuna in 2014 by more than 15 percent from the 2002-2004 average, according
to Kyodo News. But Japan, the world’s biggest tuna consumer, has concluded bluefin tuna
stocks will not sufficiently increase unless the quota is significantly reduced, the Yomiuri
said. The Japanese plan is aimed at encouraging other nations to adopt bigger cuts in their
tuna catch quota, Kyodo said.