19 Dec 2005

Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission agrees to series of resolutions

2:22 pm on 19 December 2005

A number of resolutions on the surveillance, management and conservation of tuna stocks have been drawn up by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.

In only its second meeting, the new Commission reached agreements on a series of resolutions over a tuna resource covering 30 million square kilometres of ocean.

The commission's executive director, Andrew Wright, says member countries have agreed to keep a cap on the number of fishing vessels and catches for North and South Pacific albacore, to the same level as 2004.

And, he says other priorities were also agreed to.

"The priority issues on the agenda for that meeting were establishing a satellite-based vessel tracking system to be able to monitor the activities of fishing vessels, particularly those operating on the high seas; establishment of the regional observer programme, trying to increase observer coverage on fishing vessels operating in the areas of the Western Central Pacific."

Mr Wright says the Commission is aware that 2004 levels of fishing were high and scientists have been tasked with monitoring the effects of this season's catch.