18 Jan 2010

Marshalls wants more observers to keep eye on tuna fisheries

6:10 pm on 18 January 2010

The Marshall Islands says by the end of the year, the country needs to triple the current number of observers of the tuna boats working out of Majuro.

The Marine Resources Authority's director, Glen Joseph, says his agency has an observer training scheduled for February to develop a new group that will join the 30 observers now working for the fisheries department.

New fishing rules that went into effect this year require all purse seiners to have observers on board to help gather data for evaluating the health of tuna stocks.

Mr Joseph has acknowledged that Pacific islands are under pressure from distant water fishing nations to maintain high levels of fishing, and more are lining up to fish in the region, including European Union nations.

But, he says, the islands are taking a long-term view for the fishing industry and the economics behind it.