23 Mar 2011

Pacific nations want tuna catch reduced

1:50 pm on 23 March 2011

Pacific Island countries are pushing for changes in a fishing treaty, with the United States putting more restrictions on areas that can be fished.

The South Pacific Tuna Treaty involves 17 island nations and is due to expire in 2013.

It provides 21 million US dollars annually to the islands in exchange for allowing Amercian tuna boat owners to fish in the region.

A renegotiation meeting is being held in the Marshall Islands and our correspondent Giff Johnson says a number of Pacific island parties want to reduce the overall catch.

"They're just saying gone are the days when the Pacific islands just sell fishing licences and hand out licences. Now it's a very changed environment and it's in that environment that this US treaty is coming up for review."

Giff Johnson says by introducing more restrictions Pacific nations will be in a position to bid out licences and increase their revenue.