16 Mar 2010

World's largest tuna tagging project underway in Pacific

9:53 am on 16 March 2010

More than 25 thousand tuna are expected to be tagged this year as part of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community's National Fisheries Pacific Tuna Tagging programme.

250 thousand tuna in the Western and Central Pacific ocean have already been fitted with tags to gather information about the impact of fisheries on tuna numbers in the region.

Principle Fisheries Scientist for the SPC, Simon Nicol, says the tagging project forms part of an ongoing plan to monitor over-fishing thresholds in the region and protect the Pacific's 4 billion US dollar tuna industry.

"The real value that the tagging data gives us is that it allows us to make that estimate of those thresholds in a much more precise manner and so we're able to more accurately predict where we are in terms of sustainability of the stocks."

Secretariat of the Pacific Community's Principle Fisheries Scientist, Simon Nicol.