Meeting in Japan on Pacific bluefin tuna ends without fresh moves to protect depleted species

TOKYO – An international body that monitors fisheries in most of the Pacific Ocean has ended a meeting in Japan without agreement on fresh measures to protect the dwindling bluefin tuna.

The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission was unable to get a consensus on either short term or long term measures to help restore the population of the bluefin, whose population has fallen 96 per cent from unfished levels, according to a release by the group.

Last year, the 10-nation commission recommended that the catch of juvenile tuna be cut to half of its average level in 2002-2004. But conservation groups say more must be done to counter the species’ sharp decline.