23 Mar 2004

Forum Fisheries Agency urged to change tuna management approach

3:43 pm on 23 March 2004

The Forum Fisheries Agency, the FFA, is being called on to change its approach over the fishing of tuna.

A Cook Islands businessman, Temu Okotai, says catches should be lowered so that prices are controlled in overseas markets.

He says the returns to fishermen need to be taken into account as much as the FFA's focus on sustainability of stocks.

Mr Okotai says fishermen are struggling to survive so there needs to be different strategies.

"The restriction has to have some rationale. And, at the moment, the rationale is purely based on what is perceived by the experts as sustainable yields from the resource. I think there are other criterias they should look at, in basing the restrictions and the management of the resource."

Temu Okotai.

The director of the Forum Fisheries Agency, Feleti Teo, says the secretariat has no comment to make on the issue at this point.