Japan to propose saury fishing cap

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan plans to propose introducing an overall cap on saury catches in the high seas by all eight member economies of the North Pacific Fisheries Commission, officials said.

The country will put forward the proposal, designed to prevent overfishing in the northern Pacific, at an annual NPFC meeting set to start in Tokyo on Tuesday for a three-day run, the officials said.

The NPFC also includes China, Taiwan and South Korea.

At last year’s meeting, Japan, which has been grappling with bad catches of saury (called sanma in Japanese), proposed setting catch quotas for each NPFC member economy. But the proposal failed due to opposition from China, which has been increasing saury catches at a rapid rate.

Japan is increasingly concerned over the depletion of saury stocks in the northern Pacific. The proposal for an overall cap, not quotas for each member economy, can be palatable, the Japanese officials said.

Japan’s saury catches fell to some 130,000 tons last year, a quarter of their 1958 peak, according to the Fisheries Agency.

The decline reflects high-sea fishing by China and Taiwan before the fish’s migration to waters near Japan and a rise in ocean temperatures from global warming, agency officials said.

Some Japanese ruling coalition officials are concerned that the attitude of South Korea may affect this year’s meeting at a time when Tokyo and Seoul are in dispute over Japan’s tightened semiconductor materials exports to South Korea.Speech

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