16 Sep 2010

Forum head urges action to curb illegal fishing

3:16 pm on 16 September 2010

The secretary-general of the Pacific Islands Forum says it is critical that action be taken to control illegal fishing.

Tuiloma Neroni Slade made the comment at a Maritime Security meeting in Hawaii.

Mr Slade says an estimated 20 percent of the reported catch from the Pacific comes from illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

He says major international bodies are now warning that overfishing is threatening some key commercial stocks.

To protect fish stocks, he says regional agreements such as the Niue Treaty on Cooperation in Fisheries Surveillance and Law Enforcement in the South Pacific Region have provided mechanisms to monitor fisheries protection efforts.

But Mr Slade says unfortunately little use has been made of this particular mechanism with only a handful of subsidiary cooperative agreements between member countries having been made.