Scientists say new eastern Atlantic bluefin quota will reverse stock recovery

Groups are concerned fishing might lead, eventually, to a trade ban.

Eastern Atlantic bluefin tuna’s spectacular recovery will be reversed if the region’s 51-nation fisheries management body embraces quota recommendations finalized late Friday by its scientific advisory panel, scientists at the meeting warned, reports The Japan Times.

The suggested new quota of 36,000 metric tons per year would need to be reduced by nearly a quarter to ensure at least an even chance of continued growth of the highly prized fish’s stocks, currently about half a million tons, said scientists.

Both the higher quota recommendation and the evidence of its negative impact were contained in the same report by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas’ (ICCAT) science body, the Standing Committee on Research and Statistics.

The committee “recommended quotas that will lead to the decline of populations that it can’t even confirm have recovered,” said the Ocean Foundation’s Shana Miller, a scientist who participated as an observer at the meeting in Madrid.

“Hopefully, this doesn’t return ICCAT to the situation it was in a decade ago, when an international trade ban was being considered,” she said.

---

For more seafood news and updates, follow us on Facebook and Twitter or sign up for our daily newsletter.