KOBE, Japan, Jan. 26 (UPI) -- International tuna regulators meeting in Japan adopted a plan Friday to slow the decline in global tuna stocks due to illegal overfishing.
The plan, adopted at the end of a five-day meeting in Kobe, will penalize illegal fishing -- and develop an international inspection system to enforce fishing quotas -- as well as control growing fleets and share information on tuna stock assessments, the Kyodo News Service reported.
The move was part of a plan to improve cooperation and coordination in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, the news service said.
Larger countries expressed a wish to limit fishing capacity, but developing nations said they wanted to expand their fleets, saying they have the sovereign right to use tuna fisheries for economic development.
The World Wildlife Fund, for measures to reduce catches of threatened species, said after the meeting it was disappointed the plan did put more controls on the industry and address the environmental damage caused by tuna fishing.