The Australian Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, Peter Garrett, has extended the export approval for the $200 million Southern Bluefin Tuna fishery for 28 months until mid-2010.
“I granted the extension following an assessment of the sustainability of the fishery by my Department, who advised me that the extension will not be detrimental to the survival or conservation status of the species in the short term,” Mr Garrett said.
Southern bluefin tuna fisheries are internationally managed by the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna.
“While there are continued concerns regarding the conservation status of the southern bluefin tuna, I consider that the Commission’s recent 21 per cent reduction of the global total allowable catch is a significant step forward towards sustainability, “Mr Garrett said.
“The fact that Australia’s component of the global catch was not reduced by the Commission is a vote of confidence in Australia’s domestic management of this fishery.”
The Scientific Committee of the Commission will undertake a new stock assessment, reporting in late 2009.
“The extension of export approval to mid-2010 recognises that we will then have available the new stock assessment, following three years of reductions in the total global catch,” Mr Garrett said.
“I also anticipate advice from my Threatened Species Scientific Committee by September 2009 on a nomination for the listing of the southern bluefin tuna under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act).
“There will be more certainty of the status of the stocks, including necessary scientific analysis, to assist in the next export approval decision in 2010,” Mr Garrett said.
Source: Ocean Bulletin