25 May 2004

Forum Fisheries director backs new tuna fishing safeguards

9:09 pm on 25 May 2004

The head of a regional fishing agency is backing a new convention aimed at guarding against illegal tuna fishing.

The director of the Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency, Feleti Teo, says the convention which will establish the Tuna Commission later this year will come into effect on June the 19th.

Mr Teo is this week discussing the Tuna Commission's details at a meeting of delegates from around the Pacific in Kiribati this week.

He says the commission will be central in bringing about better policing of tuna stocks.

"Well without any effective monitoring and control surveillance regime then there is no way Pacific Island countries will be able to monitor the extent of activities that foreign fishing vessels undertake within their waters. It will minimise the level of illegal fishing within the waters of our Pacific Island countries."

Feleti Teo says the meeting in Tarawa will look at how to reduce the overlap between the agency and the new tuna commission.