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Pacific bluefin tuna's future rests on South Korea conference

Nearly 200 chefs keep bluefin off menu until nations move to replenish stocks

A Pacific bluefin tuna swims in a tank in the Tokyo Sea Life Park.   © Reuters

NEW YORK -- Tuna fishing countries gather Monday in South Korea, looking to reach an agreement on the conservation and revitalization of a species so prized for its flavor that the population has shrunk to 2.6% of its maximum historical levels.

"The meeting in Busan will decide the future fate of Pacific bluefin tuna," James Gibbon, global tuna conservation officer for the Pew Charitable Trusts, told the Nikkei Asian Review.

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