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The Department of Fisheries and Oceans believes a moderate quota increase is possible in the tuna fishery. (CBC)

Atlantic bluefin tuna numbers are up, according to the latest scientific review of the stocks, and Canada believes an increased catch is possible.

The study was done in preparation for meetings of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna next month, which will set fishing quotas for the next two years.

Department of Fisheries and Oceans spokesman Frank Stanek, in an email to CBC News, said Canada is encouraged by the new report.

“[It] indicates the stock has grown substantially in recent years and could support a moderate quota increase,” wrote Stanek.

“Canada will continue to advocate for all management decisions to be based on the best available scientific information to ensure that these economically important fisheries remain sustainable.”

Too soon to increase quota, says environmentalist

Katie Schleit of the Ecology Action Network is hoping ICCAT will not repeat the mistakes of the past and increase the quotas.

"It's good news that we've been doing the right thing for the last few years but we don't want to see that reversed by seeing a huge increase that could reverse it,” said Schleit.

“We've seen that happen in the last 20 years, where there've been signs of recovery and then parties have gone and increased the quota, and then the next year we've seen that recovery reversed.”

Schleit said the tuna population is still only a little more than half what it was in the 1970s, with only five more years to reach a goal to rebuild it to those levels.

For mobile device users: Should Canada advocate for a higher quota for Atlantic bluefin tuna?