27 Mar 2012

Push for ban on targetted whale shark fishing at Guam meeting

7:41 am on 27 March 2012

A conservation group wants a ban on fishermen targetting whale sharks while fishing for tuna.

The group will be pushing for this at the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission's annual meeting, which began on Monday in Guam.

More than 50 percent of the world's tuna catch comes from waters managed by the WCPFC.

The head of the delegation for the US based Pew Environment group, Gerry Leape, says there will be a proposal that will seek to ban the intentional setting of nets around whale sharks.

"Whale sharks are sometimes caught by accident, but other times they are intentionally targeted by tuna fishermen because they know that tuna swim below whale sharks, so if we don't offer protection for the whale sharks, their population will continue to decline and they are a protected species."

Gerry Leape say the fisheries commission should respect the fact these species are endangered by stopping the targetting of whale sharks to catch tuna.