Japan, S. Korea to join forces in opposing bluefin tuna trade ban

(AP) – SEOUL, March 15 (Kyodo)

Japanese Senior Vice Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Masahiko Yamada and South Korean vice farm minister Ha Young Je agreed here Monday for Japan and South Korea to jointly oppose a proposed ban on the trade of bluefin tuna from the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean.

According to the Japanese Embassy, Yamada requested cooperation in the management of bluefin tuna resources including those in the Pacific Ocean in addition to opposing a ban on Atlantic bluefin tuna trade now under discussion at a meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in Qatar.

Ha, in addition to showing concern over the ban, expressed a stance of cooperating in the management of bluefin tuna resources to the Japanese side.

According to South Korean media reports, consumption of bluefin tuna in South Korea is low, but the fish accounts for the highest value among exports of farm and marine products, with many types of tuna, including bluefin tuna, exported to Japan.

If the ban takes effect, since there is a possibility of other types of tuna being affected, the Chosen Ilbo newspaper said “diplomatic efforts must be applied so that the deep-sea fishing industry is not damaged.”

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