The international body that sets the total allowable catch of  bluefin tuna from the southern hemisphere predicts that if catches continue at the present rate, Southern bluefin tuna (SBT) will be extinct by 2030.

Melbourne-based the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna now recommends that present catches be halved as stocks are well below the level that could produce maximum sustainable yield.

Members which include Japan, Australia and Taiwan are given strict quotas each year by the commission. It said that tuna numbers and the A$1 billion SBT fishing industry is threatened by fleets that fly flags of convenience and illegal fishing.