Saury catch limit in Pacific agreed for first time by eight economies
Japan Times -- Jul 20
Japan, China and six other economies of the North Pacific Fisheries Commission agreed for the first time Thursday to set annual catch quotas for saury, aimed at addressing fishery resource depletion.

The saury catch limit proposed by Tokyo was set at 556,250 tons for 2020 among the eight participating economies, after two previous attempts to introduce the measure had failed to win support.

During the three-day gathering in Tokyo that ran through Thursday, Japan had initially proposed an annual cap of around 450,000 tons. But a concession was apparently made in order to strike the deal, which had previously been blocked by opposition from China and other countries.

The 2020 catch limit exceeds the total of some 440,000 tons caught by the eight members in 2018, but Japan stressed the significance of reaching the deal in terms of international efforts to better control fishery resources.

Takashi Koya, director-general of the Fisheries Agency’s Resources Management Department, said that although “there are some unsatisfactory elements” in the deal, Japan agreed to it “as a passing point to improve” fishery resource management.

While the commission’s eight participants — Canada, China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Taiwan, the United States and Vanuatu — have sealed the deal on the overall catch quotas for saury, they have not worked out quotas for each individual member.

Within the 556,250-ton catch limit, a limit of 330,000 tons will apply to catches on the high seas while a limit of 226,250 tons is set for exclusive economic zones. Specific limits for each member will be discussed at an annual meeting next year. For the 2020 fishing season, the eight economies will try not to exceed their 2018 catches in the high seas that totaled 350,000 tons.

News source: Japan Times
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