8 Oct 2010

Parties to Nauru Agreement extend high-seas fishing ban to ensure sustainable stocks

10:25 am on 8 October 2010

The Parties to the Nauru Agreement have announced a large extension to their ban on high-seas fishing at a meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.

The extension is the latest move by the eight tuna-rich Pacific Island nations to ensure sustainable stocks of bigeye and yellowfin tuna.

Under the new extension, purse seine fishing vessels of distant fishing nations will be excluded from the high seas in an area of the central Pacific, stretching between 10 degrees north and 20 degrees south of the equator.

The PNA spokesperson, Maurice Brownjohn, says the ban will take effect from 2011.

"Any vessel that chooses to fish the high seas in contravention of this initiative will be ineligible to be licensed within the parties' waters. But if any party would like to continue fishing within the PNA's waters, then they must not fish the high seas that have been designated closed."