Japan defiant on tuna over-fishing

Daily Telegraph (AU) WILDLIFE conservation groups have blasted Japan over its failure to prevent overfishing of the southern bluefin tuna, driving the species closer to extinction.

Conservation groups say an international commission’s failure to prevent overfishing of the southern bluefin tuna is driving the species closer to extinction.Wildlife trade-monitoring network Traffic and conservation body WWF said today the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna’s (CCSBT) annual meeting in Canberra at the weekend made no significant progress in preventing the overharvesting of the internationally popular table fish.

“The meeting became embroiled in discussions that went round and round in circles getting nowhere, Traffic spokesman Glenn Sant said in a statement.

“The southern bluefin tuna stock is at historically-low levels with less than 10 per cent of the virgin stock left.

“Reviews conducted by the commission have shown massive over-catch by a member, yet Japan has continued to ensure that any finger pointing to those responsible is locked up in confidentiality.”

Traffic said overfishing was driving the species further towards extinction.

WWF spokeswoman Lorraine Hitch said the commission also failed to agree on anything related to minimising bycatch of albatrosses, petrels, sharks and marine turtles.

“They were unable to agree on even the most fundamental aspects of bycatch management such as data collection,” she said.

The Humane Society International estimates 13,500 seabirds die every year on longline fishing vessels targeting southern bluefin tuna and 10,000 of them were species of albatross.

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Filed under biodiversity, environment, extinction, fishing, japan, wildlife, zoology

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