Pacific Nations Promise to Recover Bluefin Tuna
Joanne Lewis - Van Nuys News Press
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September 7, 2017
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Last week in Busan, South Korea, Pacific nations came together and agreed, for the first time, to recover the population of Pacific bluefin tuna to a sustainable level.
“This is a historic moment for this remarkable species, which is so important to the ocean ecosystem and to coastal communities around the Pacific Rim,” said Margaret Spring, Chief Conservation Officer at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Nations met as part of the annual meeting of the Northern Committee of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, the body responsible for managing tunas and other highly migratory species across the western Pacific Ocean. Delegates discussed ways to recover the population of Pacific bluefin tuna after years of decline, and took a major step forward by agreeing to recover the population to a sustainable level and establishing a long-term management plan.
For several years, the aquarium has raised concerns about the Commission’s response to population declines and failure to adhere to scientific advice. This year, the international community’s call for action reached a crescendo, highlighted by statements from former Secretary of State John Kerry; U.N. General Assembly President Peter Thomson; and nearly 200 chefs and culinary leaders worldwide, who urged Pacific nations to take decisive action.
This week, the Northern Committee “heard clearly the voice of the international community,” Spring said, and committed to a meaningful and binding recovery plan that includes rebuilding the population from its current level (2.6 percent of the historic population level) to a sustainable level (20 percent of the historic population level) no later than 2034.
“This is a significant and encouraging departure from the previous stance of this Commission. If it is implemented appropriately, it will recover the population,” Spring said.
Read the rest at Van Nuys News Press
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