Pacific Rim countries are holding a fisheries conference on measures to maintain the stocks of Pacific saury in the North Pacific. The focus of the discussion is whether to introduce regulations on catches of the fish.
A meeting of the North Pacific Fisheries Commission began in Tokyo on Tuesday, with Japan serving as the chair. Delegates from seven countries and a territory, including China and Russia, are taking part.
At the start of the meeting, Deputy Director-General of Japan's Fisheries Agency Masaki Hoshina said he hopes that participants will understand the importance of maintaining Pacific saury stocks and that catch regulations will soon be introduced to sustain the resources.
The participants are expected to discuss a recent report on the first scientific estimate of Pacific saury resources.
The report says saury stocks in the North Pacific have drastically declined over the past 20 years, with the average population from 2016 to 2018 being about 20 percent below the level considered sufficient to sustain the species.
Japan plans to propose regulations to decide on the upper limit of catches for the entire region.
Attention is focused on China and others which have opposed fishing restrictions, since the meeting requires a unanimous decision.