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Friday, 22 August 2008

World Major Tuna Longliners Suspend Fishing

Distant-water tuna longline fishing organizations of Japan, Korea, The Chinese Taipei and China held a meeting in Tokyo on June 27, 2008 to exchange views on the present situation now surrounding tuna fisheries.

At the meeting, the four organizations (Japan Tuna Fisheries Cooperative organization, Taiwan Deep Sea Boat Owners and Exporters Association, Korea Overseas Fisheries Association (Tuna Longline Fisheries Committee) and China Fisheries Association (Distant Water Fisheries Branch)) reached the common recognition that "tuna catches have been on decreasing trend in recent years because of the declining resources" and "it has become increasingly difficult to continue tuna fishing because of the rapid fuel price hikes lately.

The four organizations agreed to jointly implement the following actions in order to recover and conserve tuna resources and thereby to maintain the deep sea tuna longline fisheries.

1. We, the four organizations continue to address the regional fisheries management organizations, fisheries management authorities of each country, distributors and consumers about the urgent need to introduce measures necessary for eliminating the treat against tuna resources caused by the rapid increase of large scale purse seine fishing as well as inadequately managed tuna farming.

2. We appeal to the public the critical situation facing the deep sea tuna longline fisheries. We are determined to suspend our fishing operation in order recover tuna resources.

3. We do our best to develop and foster the frozen sashimi tuna market in each of our countries and also to develop new markets in the USA, The EU, and other countries in order to promote stable supply-demand structure.

(Based on OPRT survey, about 400 tuna longline fishing vessels, which account for about one third of all the 1,200 tuna longline fishing vessels in the world, including the vessels registered with the four organizations, are expected to take part in the planned fishing suspension. In point of the fact, 200 vessels from the Chinese Taipei are already suspending their tuna fishing operation).

Resource: OPRT Newsletter international, August 2008, No. 20

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