Higher global tuna quotas to improve Australia’s bluefin tuna output

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 17th October 2011

The international Extended Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT), which is made up of six nations, has devised a formal plan to help rebuild the global stock of southern bluefin tuna.

Southern bluefin tuna fish are found throughout the southern hemisphere mainly in waters between 30 and 50 degrees south but only rarely in the eastern Pacific. The only known breeding area is in the Indian Ocean, south-east of Java, Indonesia.

Under the CCSBT’s strategy, Australia’s national quota will increase from 4,015 tonnes in 2011 to 4,528 tonnes in 2012 and 4,698 tonnes in 2013. The CCSBT strategy will mean that, subject to satisfactory stock assessment in 2013, the global catch limit for 2014 would be set at a maximum of 12,449 tonnes, with an allocation of 5,147 tonnes to Australia.

At its annual meeting, held in Bali last week, the CCSBT devised a strategy whereby the global catch limit for southern bluefin tuna will increase from the 2011 limit of 9,449 tonnes to 10,449 tonnes in 2012 and 10,949 tonnes in 2013.

In 2010, Australia’s bluefin tuna industry was dealt a blow when the Australian Government reduced the quota for fishing of the southern bluefin tuna by 23.7% for the 2010 and 2011 fishing seasons.

Members of the CCSBT comprise Australia, Taiwan, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The Extended Commission will next meet in October 2012.