26 Mar 2012

Tuna Commission meeting to focus on overfishing of tuna and protection for sharks

5:25 pm on 26 March 2012

There will be a push for greater measures to stop the over-fishing of tuna and better protection of whitetip sharks and whale sharks at the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission's annual meeting.

The WCPFC manages more than 50 percent of the worlds tuna catch, and it's annual meeting, which began on Monday, brings together representatives of more than 25 governments.

The head of the delegation for the US based Pew Environment group, Gerry Leape, says the main thing they want to see enacted are new conservation provisions for the bigeye and yellow fin tunas.

"In 2008, they took some steps to try and stop the over fishing that was occurring of bigeye tuna and beginnings of decline of yellow fin and the measures for bigeye haven't worked. So they need to strengthen the provisions, they need to catch less of the tuna, they need to do it differently and those are measures they need to enact this year."

Gerry Leape says it's going to be challenging to get those measures put in place, but he hopes the countries can come together and work in the spirit of collaboration.