Shark Bait Blog

Environment.. and Scuba Diving.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Sustainable Development?.........I don't think so.

(photo - courtesy of California Department of Fish and Game)

The fall-out from the recent revelation that the Japanese Fishing Ministry has been brazenly ignoring quotas set by the CCSBT to preserve sustainable Southern Bluefin Tuna stocks, while the Japanese fishing industry has additionally been fiddling the books for 20 years continues.

The Japanese Fisheries Ministry says that from next year it will be introducing a tagging scheme. However since the issue is accepting quotas and preventing the falsification of documentation exactly how this is anything more than political window dressing is currently unclear.

'Japanese boats exceeded their quota of 6,065 tons by AT LEAST (my capitals) 1,500 tons' -

$22 per kilo*
1000 kilos to the metric ton(tonne)= $22,000
'at least' 1,500 metric tons = $33,000,000
20 years @ $33,000,000 per year= $660,000,000

Those are conservative ballpark figures from details on the web and do not currently take into account that the scale of overfishing may greatly exceed 1,500 metric tons per year.

Tsukiji’s Tuna Auction keeps accurate records of prices and the Japanese Fisheries Ministry keeps less accurate records of quotas and how much they have been exceeded why the delay in releasing those figures?

The Japanese Fisheries Ministry need to spin the story through the 'sustainable development', 'picking on Japan', 'there are worse culprits than us' and 'we have learnt from past mistakes and are now taking steps to rectify the situation' filters and all that stuff takes a while to research. The blame game should go to extra time.

'Since 1997, the CCSBT has failed to reach agreement on the global TAC for its members...............Japan, the final destination for 99% of SBT, has not previously agreed to be limited to its national allocation of 6065 tonnes..............Member governments of the SBT commission agreed in October 2003 that the way to bring major players to the table was to INCREASE (my capitals) the TAC to 14,030 tonnes/year.
Fishing Technology Digest for Asia-Pacific
Issue No. 48 • Kuala Lumpur • Oct - Dec 2004

* - In actuality the tuna price per kilo, depending on the quality can be substantially more. The record for a single tuna is 100,000 yen per kilogram, approx.$840 per kg.


  • At Tuesday, October 17, 2006, Blogger Lamna nasus said…

    Update to this blog entry -

    Japan admits overfishing and agrees to halve its tuna quota for five years as penance.

    While it is possible that the Japanese Fisheries Ministry may be coming around to the idea of genuine sustainable use, in view if the fact that they were caught out overfishing, this may be nothing more than political window dressing. As the BBC article points out 'almost all the southern blue-fin tuna caught in the world is sent to Japan.'

    Since some tuna fishing nations have not agreed to recognise the international quotas set by the various tuna fishing regulatory bodies only time will tell if this has any conservation effect on tuna stocks or if the japanese Fisheries Ministry maintains the current unsustainable pressure on tuna stocks through third party suppliers.


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