Last December, Southern California anglers were told that catch limits would be reduced from ten to two fish. It was a drastic cut. Prior to the Pacific Fisheries Management Council meeting where the reduction was announced, I was asked by the Pew Charitable Trust to advocate the move to the sportfishing community. It was a tough decision, but I did. My rationale was that if it needed to be done to preserve the fishery, it was better than the fishery being closed to fishing at all. When the cuts came down and there wasn’t a subsequent mirror action taken by the Mexican tuna seiners, I felt cheated.

I was surprised to hear this week that the Mexican tuna seiner companies have agreed to withdraw from the fishery for five years. Read the details in this article from Undercurrent News.

tunapen_onecooltunaMembers of the Pacific Alliance for Sustainable Tuna (PAST) have committed to withdrawing from fishing Pacific bluefin tuna for the next five years, including the 2015 season.

The fishing companies — Grupomar, Herdez Del Fuerte, Pesca Azteca, and Procesa — were accepted for Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) full assessment in skipjack and yellowfin tuna fisheries in November 2014.

The firms, representing 93% of total tuna production in Mexico, believe they have demonstrated their “continued leadership in sustainability” with the move.

The members of the Alliance made this voluntary decision after working with Mexico’s National Commission for Fisheries and Aquaculture (CONAPESCA) and National Fisheries Institute (INAPESCA), as well as scientific experts at the InterAmerican Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC), to develop a strategy for the recovery of bluefin, which faces severe pressure from overfishing, and to continue to advance Mexico’s position as a leader in sustainable fisheries, PAST said.

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Photos: So Cal Salty (top); One Cool Tuna (above)