10 Dec 2004

FSM president delivers tuna conservation message

1:53 pm on 10 December 2004

The President of Federated States of Micronesia says it's essential that a new tuna monitoring body in the Pacific set limits on fishing in the region to conserve the world's largest tuna resource.

Joseph Urusemal was speaking at the inaugural meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention on Thursday.

Mr Urusemal said that Pacific islands need to reap more than just the benefits of licensing revenue from fishing that is now largely done by distant water fishing nations.

He has urged the 200 representatives of more than 26 nations to promote development of domestic fleets that will lead to investment and employment opportunities in the islands.

Mr Urusemal says there is great urgency in the new agency's work because the catch of tuna has risen from just 4-thousand tonnes in the late 1960s to two million tonnes in recent years.

The number of nations fishing has also skyrocketed from just eight to 26.