1 Nov 2007

Mass tuna tagging in Pacific as part of new research project

7:01 pm on 1 November 2007

One of the region's most important fish stock, tuna, is to be tagged and monitored across the entire central and south Pacific in a new research project.

About 100,000 fish will be tagged and monitored from Indonesia to Kiribati for five years at an estimated cost of 10 million US dollars.

The project is being launched by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, or SPC.

SPC's manager of the oceanic fisheries programme, Dr John Hampton, says the tagging will provide invaluable information for conservation and management.

"We need stock assessments fairly regularly to inform management decisions so that they are based on the best available scientific information. Typically the assessments are based on statistics from the fisheries. These statistics are often incomplete. Experience has shown that tagging data can provide a very very valuable adjunct set of data."

Dr John Hampton says it is important to have regional data to avoid overfishing.