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Weekly Overview: Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Quotas Increased, No Protection for Sharks

18 November 2014

ANALYSIS - It is bad news for Atlantic bluefin tuna stocks as the recent International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic's Tuna (ICCAT) meeting resulted in quota increases, writes Lucy Towers, TheFishSite Editor.

The eastern and Mediterranean bluefin tuna quota is to be increased by around 20 per cent

Although the increase is in line with scientific advice, conservation groups are concerned that the increase is too rapid and that it is putting bluefin population recovery in jeopardy.

“The increased quotas for Atlantic bluefin are risky and threaten to undo recent gains. Significant concerns remain about the ability of these fish to fully recover from a long history of overfishing,” said Paulus Tak, a senior officer with The Pew Charitable Trusts.

It is also a bleak outlook for endangered sharks, as the ICCAT meeting failed to agree on catch limits or protection measures. The EU's shark fining proposal was also rejected.

“Once again, ICCAT members ignored calls to sustainably manage shark populations. Porbeagle and shortfin mako sharks in the Atlantic Ocean will continue to be fished without limit, despite clear scientific advice that overfishing is depleting these populations. Failure to act goes against the recommendations of precautionary science and will only speed the decline of these top predators,” said Mr Tak.

A new Australian Research Hub is exploring the development of rock lobster aquaculture.

The Research Hub has been awarded A$5 million over five years from the Australian Research Council (ARC).

ARC Chief Executive Officer, Professor Aidan Byrne said the new Research Hub will focus on ensuring rock lobster aquaculture is taken from research to commercial reality.

“The Hub’s researchers will develop unique aquaculture systems, using novel engineering, state-of-the-art hatcheries and plastic manufacturing to mass produce lobster seed stock," said Professor Byrne.

UK trout producers have celebrated an EU ruling this week, which prevents Turkish trout producers from exporting to EU countries at a subsidised price.

The Danish Aquaculture Organisation had made a formal complaint earlier in the year that the Turkish state subsidy on exported trout created unfair competition and that it has imposed huge economic losses on trout farmers from other EU countries. 

The European Commission concluded that the Turkish state aid does injure the EU industry, and as a result is enforcing a countervailing duty between seven and 9.7 per cent on imported trout from Turkey.

Lucy Towers

Lucy Towers
News Team - Editor

After graduating from The University of Sheffield, Lucy joined 5M in 2011 as part of the News Desk team. In 2012, she was promoted to editor of TheFishSite. With previous farming experience and a love for the great outdoors, Lucy has a passion for wildlife and the environment.

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