Fishing Ban Could Be Only Option Left for Saving Pacific Bluefin Tuna
GLOBAL - The Pew Charitable Trusts is calling for a two year ban on the commercial fishing of Pacific bluefin tuna as a last resort to save the species.
In this year’s stock assessment, scientists found that the population is at just 2.6 per cent of its historic size and that overall fishing mortality remains up to three times higher than is sustainable.
Projections from the International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-like Species in the North Pacific Ocean show that under current conditions, the catch limits now in place have a less than 1 per cent chance of successfully rebuilding the population over the next 20 years.
Amanda Nickson, director of global tuna conservation for Pew, said: "An initial two-year commercial fishing ban would protect the species by ending overfishing."
"A commercial ban would also give international fishery managers an opportunity to implement an appropriate rebuilding plan. If adequate measures are not in place by 2018, a trade ban through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) could be the only remaining option to safeguard the species."
In other news, NOAA Fisheries is making approximately $10 million in funding available for projects focusing on sustainable fisheries and coastal fishing communities in the US.