In mid. Oct., the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT) decided to increase the total Southern Bluefin Tuna (SBT) quota for 2014 to 12,449 tons, up by 13% year on year, at its annual meeting in Adelaide, Australia. The 2014 TAC is based on an advice from the Scientific Committee. This certainly shows a fruitful result of strict catch managements implemented so far. If the stock recovery is confirmed, there could be possibility to further ease of fishing management, and that would be a good news for a fishing industry.
In order to assess the stock condition of SBT, it is essential to improve accuracy of catch data submitted by tuna farming industrｙ in Australia. The country takes 42% or 5,151 tons out of the total quota, and majority of the catch is for farming.
SBT caught for farming is kept alive in a net and put into farming cages. The number of fish caught and the total weight are not counted accurately but are estimated based upon the sample catch regime.
This method makes stock assessment uncertain. This sample-based estimation also causes a doubt if the fishery management is practiced rigorously. In case of
, the Fisheries Agency (JFA)
has established a strict management system.
Length and weight of each SBT caught is individually measured and
weighed on board, and fishermen are obligated to record such data into their catch
reports. Further more, landing ports are
designated, and at such ports, agents of the JFA verify the SBT and the catch
Scientists are claiming that stereo video cameras make it possible to precisely count the numbers and weights of SBT put into the cages. It also improves quota management for farming fishery which currently remains opaque.
CCSBT has been discussing on introduction of this video for a long time, and
finally committed at the 2012 annual meeting to implement it from this year. Australia
announced to postpone it at the annual meeting this year. Along with the change of the government, “ Australia explained that the newly elected government was concerned that unautomated
stereo video monitoring would impose an excessive regulatory and financial
burden on the industry. The government had therefore decided to postpone the
implementation of stereo video monitoring until an automated solution coulld be
developed,” a disclosed report noted. Australia Japan and New
Zealand expressed dissent against it but failed to
reverse the ’s
It might not be meaningful to discuss if this excuse by
is right or wrong. Rather, it draws a doubt on the stand taken
by Australia ,
disregarding the promise committed by a result of long lasted discussion. Australia
In 2009, paying out of the national treasury, Japan scrapped 87 long-liners in order to abide with her commitment to reduce quotas of SBT, Bigeye in Central and Western Pacific Ocean, and Bluefin in East Atlantic Ocean. It certainly was heavy economic burdens on the nation, but more burdens were imposed upon fishermen and fishery industries that had no other choice but to terminate their fishing activities.
implemented what it committed with each international tuna fisheries management
organization. Being as a responsible
nation, Japanese industries also committed themselves, along with the
government, to take stifling heavy economic and social burdens. Japan
An international society was disappointed with the stand taken by
against this stereo video
monitoring issue. Australia as a responsible fisheries
management nation, should implement her commitment to regain the international
trusts without any delay. Australia
(This is a translation from Minato Fisheries Daily of Japan)