7 Apr 2008

SPC has so far tagged one hundred thousand tuna in monitoring programme

7:22 pm on 7 April 2008

The Secretariat of the Pacific community says it has reached a milestone after tagging one hundred thousand tuna in Pacific waters.

The organisation began a tuna tagging programme 18 months ago to obtain new information on their movement, mortality and behaviour.

The first phase of the operation took place in Papua New Guinea before being extended to Solomon Islands.

The SPC's Oceanic Fisheries programme manager, John Hampton, says it has already learnt a few things from the project.

"We haven't began serious analysis. Of course, we're monitoring the results. The recovery rates of the tuna are in keeping with most our expectations indicative of increasing fishing pressure on these stocks. In PNG, the recovery rates has been in excess of twenty percent. That indicates quite significant fishing pressure in that region."

John Hampton says it is planning to tag another 100 000 tuna in Micronesia and is hoping to fully analyse the data within the next five years.