States to decide fate of depleted tuna

Paris: Dozens of nations will convene next week to decide the fate
of one of the plane’´s most valuable fish: the bigeye tuna,
backbone of a billion dollar business that is severely
overfished.Scientists shocked many in the industry last month when
they warned that unless catch levels are sharply reduced, stocks of
the fatty, fast-swimming predator could crash within a decade or
two.Less iconic than Atlantic bluefin but more valuable as an
industry, bigeye (Thunnus obesus) — one of several so-called
tropical tunas — is prized for sashimi in Japan and canned for
supermarket sales worldwide.It is not farmed. An internal report by
40-odd scientists working under the inter-governmental
International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas
(ICCAT) showed in October that populations have fallen to less than
20 percent of historic levels.”This species is in the red,” said
Daniel Gaertner, specialist in tropical tunas at France´s
Institute for Research and Development, which helps track bigeye
stocks.States are due to decide at the summit, which begins Monday
in the Croatian seaside city of Dubrovnik, whether to renew bigeye
quotas or revise them downward.Three years ago, ICCAT introduced a
65,000-tonne catch limit for the seven largest fishers of bigeye,
and a moratorium in certain areas of ocean. But other countries are
not bound by the quotas, and bigeye hauls last year topped 80,000
tonnes — far too high to begin replenishing stocks.
Source: FS – All-News2-Economy
States to decide fate of depleted tuna