BEIJING, Aug. 27, 2010 (Kyodo News International) --
(Editors: ADDING INFO)
China and Japan agreed Friday not to increase the number of large roll-net equipped fishing boats of the Chinese side operating in the western and central Pacific Ocean to protect stocks of tuna and bonito.
The agreement to keep the number of such boats at the current 20 was made in talks between Japanese Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Masahiko Yamada and his Chinese counterpart Han Changfu in Beijing.
It came against the backdrop of fears about declining stocks of such fish as bonito, yellowfin tuna and bigeye tuna in the ocean due to an increase in Chinese and Taiwan fishing boats.
At the meeting, Japan also agreed to hand over part of its surplus catch quotas for bigeye tuna to the Chinese side, given that China has faced a shortage in such quotas, according to Japanese officials.
China has promoted deep-sea fishing, expanding catches of bonito and tuna to meet an increase in tuna consumption chiefly among the rich in line with its economic growth. It also exports many of its catches to Japan, the world's largest tuna consumer.
In March, Japan, together with China and other Asian fishing countries, successfully voted against a proposal by Monaco to ban international trade in Atlantic and Mediterranean bluefin tuna, at a meeting of parties to the Washington convention in the Qatari capital of Doha.
In this regard, Japan and China agreed to continue cooperating at the international arena, the officials said, while suggesting that the agreed restriction is needed as there is a possibility that moves toward a trade ban may grow anew if tuna stocks fall due to overfishing.
Meanwhile, the two ministers discussed measures to prevent foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks among cows and pigs, and agreed to launch joint research on the livestock infection.