5 Apr 2012

Pacific Fisheries Commission defends its conservation efforts

1:00 pm on 5 April 2012

The executive director of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission has defended its work on tuna conservation following criticism from the head of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement.

Last week's Commission meeting ended without any progress on a number of PNA proposals, such as measures against overfishing of bigeye tuna and extending the ban on Fish Aggregating Devices.

The PNA's chief executive, Transform Aqorau, suggests the influence of large commercial fishing interests on governments at the Commission is behind the lack of progress.

The Commission's Glenn Hurry admits that current measures haven't reduced the overall catch to the desired level but says that new measures are being developed.

"There's always been self-interest from member countries from commissions. Be you Australia, New Zealand, Japan or a Pacific Island country, you're tending to try and protect your own interests as well as protecting those of the stock. But the PNA are part of the Commission, everybody's in this together and it's kind of odd that people beat up on the Commission failing to do things when everybody's a member of this process."

Glenn Hurry