A decision to raise the quota slightly is likely at this year’s annual meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), November 18-25 in South Africa, because of a recovery in the stock, JapanTimes reports.
A recommendation issued by the ICCAT’s scientific committee last month allows for a minor increase in the quota.
The committee is responsible for giving the full commission advice from a scientific viewpoint.
The catch quota is expected to continue rising in the years to come at a time when fishing regulations in the Pacific are set to be strengthened starting next year due to diminishing stock.
This year’s quota was raised by 500 tons from the previous year to 13,400 tons, the first increase in 10 years. For 2014, a further increase to 14,000 tons or more is likely.
Some nations are seeking to keep the quota unchanged to ensure a recovery in stock but many members, especially Mediterranean countries, want an increase, the sources said.
In 2012, the scientific committee confirmed an uptick in Atlantic bluefin tuna stock, which was once in danger of extinction. The ICCAT hopes to fully restore stock levels by 2022.