15 Nov 2010

Lead Pacific tuna nations to back initiatives designed to preserve stocks

10:39 am on 15 November 2010

Eight key Pacific fisheries countries will meet at the end of the month, to endorse initiatives that could change the face of the industry in the region.

The 8 Parties to the Nauru Agreement control an ocean area where much of the more than 3 billion US dollars in tuna is caught every year.

They will discuss a Vessel Day Scheme, for longline vessels which target overfished bigeye tuna, and closing off a large area of the high seas from fishing.

Our correspondent in Majuro, Giff Johnson, says the Pacific is one of the last reasonably healthy fisheries, but there are some serious danger signs.

"All their initiatives are pushing the envelope, and are producing, or trying to produce, huge change, in the way the fishing industry is run in the Pacific. The PNA in effect, is a cartel. They've got control of the best fishing grounds and they're determined to see these things through."