Tuna stocks are of special interest to Canada. Atlantic bluefin tuna and Pacific albacore tuna, in particular, support viable and sustainable fisheries in Canadian waters. The Atlantic bluefin tuna fishery is worth approximately $10 million annually, the Pacific albacore tuna fishery is worth approximately $30 million annually and the pelagic longline fishery which includes Atlantic swordfish, bigeye and yellowfin is worth approximately $35 million annually. There are also Canadian harvesters of swordfish, yellowfin tuna, albacore tuna, and bigeye tuna in Atlantic Canada – and a distant-water fishing fleet that fishes southern Pacific albacore tuna.
The joint tuna regional fisheries management organization process, also known as the Kobe process, of which Canada is an active participant, seeks to harmonize the activities of the five tuna regional fisheries management organizations. It is an opportunity for Canada, being a member to three of those organizations (the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission and the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas), to play an instrumental role in assisting tuna regional fisheries management organizations move towards a more consistent, sustainable and science-based management approach that will ensure the sustainability of tuna fisheries for future generations.
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