WASHINGTON (CN) – The National Marine Fisheries Service will allow the U.S. longline bluefin tuna fleet to land just over 76 metric tons of the prized tuna in 2012.
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The increase in the 2012 quota is due to underharvest in 2011.
Under the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, member states are able to roll over underharvest into the next fishing season up to 10 percent of the total quota for the subsequent year.
The NMFS says that new data indicates that the U.S. fleet was under quota in 2011 by 160 metric tons. Because of the quota limitation, only 94.9 metric tons of underharvest is eligible to be rolled over and the NMFS will allocate 18.7 metric tons into reserve.
Despite a world-wide decline in catch of the world’s premium species for sushi-grade fish, from nearly 19,000 metric tons in 1964 to just over 1,900 metric tons in 2009, in 2011, the NMFS declined to list the bluefin as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.