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WWF concerned over increase of bluefin tuna catch quota

The species is currently listed on the WWF's 'Red-list' due to unsustainable populations.

FILE: A tuna fish. Picture: Aletta Harrison/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) says an increase in the global allocation to catch Southern Bluefin Tuna is a cause for concern.

The Commission for Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna has announced a 3000-ton global increase between 2018 and 2020 and a South African increase from 150 to 423 tons.

The species is currently listed on the WWF's 'Red-list' due to unsustainable populations and environmental concerns.

The WWF's Chris Kastern says the commission's plan to restock the Southern Bluefish Tuna species has a 70% chance of success.

But he warns that 'illegal, unreported and unregulated' fishing poses a problem.

"So even if you are allocating additional quota if you are not able to address the IUU component you may be pushing the fishery into an over fishing stage which is a concern."

The Fisheries Department's Bomikazi Molapo says the commission manages the resource.

"Tuna is a very migratory species, so the commission is responsible for responsible allocation without exploiting the resource."

She adds the increase could create more than a thousand jobs and give the industry a R270 million cash injection.