9 Dec 2009

Important for fishing vessels to be registered says Forum Fisheries

11:54 am on 9 December 2009

The annual meeting of this region's Tuna Commission will consider provisions to make countries who register vessels responsible for getting them onto the list of fishing boats.

The issue is one of several being put forward by Pacific Island Forum Fisheries members for tighter controls on the last great tuna resources in the world.

Forum Fisheries spokesperson, Anouk Ride, says in order to manage fishing activity it is important to know who is fishing in the area:

"We know there are about 6 thousand fishing vessels in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean, only about 2 thousand of those are actually on the register of vessels in the WCPFC. So we need to make sure there are some penalties involved for those vessels that are not on register."

Forum Fisheries spokesperson, Anouk Ride.

Greenpeace has said scientific presentations will include a call for a reduction in the catch of Bigeye and Yellow fin tuna of 50 per cent, up from agreed level of 30 per cent over three years.

But Anouk Ride says the meeting of 400 delegates will hear progress reports rather than reopen the issue of catch reduction.