May 27, 2008 / 4:09 AM / 11 years ago

Japan to suspend some tuna fishing on fuel prices

TOKYO, May 27 (Reuters) - Surging fuel prices will likely force Japanese fishermen to suspend some tuna fishing expeditions to the Pacific and Indian oceans, officials from the main nationwide tuna fishing union said on Tuesday.

The tuna fishing cooperative union is considering stopping about 80 fishing boats from going to the Pacific and the India Ocean for three months or more to catch bigeye tuna and yellowfin tuna, two common and reasonably priced fish at sushi bars, union officials said.

A steady drop in the number of bigeye and yellowfin tuna has also encouraged the fishermen to suspend their trips, the officials said.

"Fuel prices have doubled in the last two years and resources have deteriorated, so we can’t make a profit in these circumstances," one official said.

The officials said tuna fishermen in Taiwan, China and South Korea were likely to follow suit. (Reporting by Teruaki Ueno)

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