An international fisheries commission is warning that declining stocks of Pacific saury may not fully recover if the fish continues to be caught at the current pace.
It was the North Pacific Fisheries Commission's first scientific estimate of Pacific saury resources.
The fish is a popular delicacy in Japan. China and Taiwan are also increasing their catches.
The commission's report says stocks in the North Pacific have declined by two-thirds, from four million tons in the early 2000s to 1.3 million in 2017.
It says the average population from 2016 to 2018 was about 20 percent below the level considered appropriate to sustain the species.
Japan's Fisheries Agency is due to propose catch regulations at the commission's conference that begins on Tuesday in Tokyo. China has opposed introducing catch quotas in past meetings.