9 Nov 2009

Pacific fish management talks to cover more species

7:57 pm on 9 November 2009

It's hoped that a round of negotiations currently underway in New Zealand will finally establish a regional fisheries management organisation for those species not covered by already established tuna commissions.

Seven previous rounds of talks have discussed a South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation to fill a current management gap in international fisheries.

The region that will be covered by the establishment of this organisation is vast - roughly from Australia to Latin America and the Antarctic to the equator.

The chair of the Science Group working on establishing information about the fisheries in the area, Andrew Penney, says Jack Mackerel is already being overfished:

"It was a four million tonne fishery back in the early 1990's and the catches are currently below one million tonnes and there indications from the existing information that the stock is already over exploited that was in fact on of the driving impetuses of the South Pacific RFMO was to prevent that situation from getting worse."

New Zealand Ministry of Fisheries scientist, Andrew Penney.

He says assessing the stock of bottom trawled catch such as Orange Roughy is hard to gauge, but some areas on the high seas are known to have already been over exploited.