Japan urges S. Korea to curb Bluefin imports

Featured - July 23rd, 2012

Japan’s Fisheries Agency urged South Korea to curb catches of Pacific Bluefin in a move to protect the fish from extinction, The Nikkei reports.

South Korea is expected to take about 1,341 tons of Bluefin to Japan this year, exceeding the 2011 total by 150%. According to the agency, juvenile fish is caught and accounts for 97% of shipments and increased catches of juvenile fish under 30kg could cause stock depletion.

The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission in 2010 adopted conservation measures to prevent overfishing but South Korea is ignoring them, increasing exports to keep up with the demand in Japan, which accounts to 80% of global consumption.

The consuming country could face criticism if it does not urge South Korea to put a brake on increasing the amount caught, as the WCPFC requires. According to The Nikkei, the Fisheries Agency made its request to South Korea through diplomatic channels. Japan will cut catches by 26% from an average of 6,100 tons in 2005-2009.