Absence of management measures will cause detrimental impact to Pacific bluefin tuna

The last IATTC meeting held in July failed to adopt management measures for Pacific bluefin tuna (PBT) despite of the recommendation by the Scientific Committee calling for decrease of the fishing mortality. The failure will not only cause detrimental impact to the stock but also raise serious concern to the management ability of IATTC. PBT in IATTC area is unregulated and uncontrolled at present, although it is not illegal to fish PBT in the area yet. But, no such semi- IUU fish should be allowed for transaction.


The Eastern Japan Great Earthquake on March 11, 2011 collapsed fisheries in the region completely.
In the course of history, Japan has experienced numbers of natural disasters including earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions, and, at each time, overcame the hardships brought about by such calamities. Given the size and scale of the disaster this time, it might take a considerable length of time for restoration, but I believe Japan will certainly overcome the difficulties -- and has no other way than doing so.

For the restoration of fisheries in disaster areas, we may have to aim at building up new fisheries using high technology developed in various fields in Japan, giving greater consideration than ever to sustainable utilization of fishery resources and conservation of the marine environment. That would be a way to respond to the goodwill of the people from many parts of the world who have conveyed their heartfelt sympathy to the victims of the disaster.


The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will require 50 longline vessels in the Gulf of Mexico to use special hooks designed to avoid catching bluefin tuna incidentally. The hook is thinner than usual and bends under the weight of bleufin, whose average size in the Gulf is 485 pounds. I hope this measure can work to conserve the spawning stock. How about in the Mediterranean, another spawning ground of Atlantic bluefin tuna?


Fishermen got angry with emission of nuclear polluted waters.
Representatives of Federation of fisheries cooperatives strongly protested Tokyo Electric Power Co.Ltd. (TEPCO) as it released waters polluted by radioactivity in the sea on April 4, without any advance notice to fishermen around the areas. TEPCO expressed apology, saying that release was an urgent resort to prevent explosion of the nucluear power plant.
Fishermen around the areas are obliged to cease fishing. I am afraid if consumers would not buy fish for some time even after safety is guarateed by the authorities.


Our President resigned on March 31 in order to devote to his duty as Chief of Headquarters to cope with damage to fisheries caused by Northern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. I feel as if our president was carried away suddenly by Tsunami. I expect he may do his best effort to reconstruct all sectors of fisheries devastated by the disaster. Police reported today that over 28,000 people were dead or missing as of now.


I am concerned about the problems at Fukushima nuclear power plant caused by the earthquake and tsunami, in particular, the emission of radioativity. Fisheries Agency of Japan held a seminar on March 29 concerning the radioactivity and its impact on fish and shellfish. Experts explained that the amount of radioactive substances released from the reactor is small and there is no problem at present because sea water and sea currents make the impact of radioactivity extremely thin.
I hope the emission should be stoppted soonest by all means.


On March 26, 2011, OPRT renewed its website in commemorating the 10th anniversary of its establishment. The need to promote responsible tuna fisheries is becoming even more important in view of the status of major tuna resources being excessively used. OPRT hopes the information provided in this website will be useful in ensuring the sustainable;use of important resources for the world.