17 Sep 2012

European Union at risk of illegal fishing says PNA

4:12 am on 17 September 2012

The Pacific's key regulatory body for fishing is warning the European Union that it will be fined if the bilateral deals it strikes with Pacific Island countries don't take into account the region's existing fisheries management rules.

The warning comes as Kiribati allows Spanish fishing vessels to continue operating in its waters while legislation relating to the EU's Fisheries Partnership Agreement is completed.

The Marshall Islands-based, Parties to the Nauru Agreement, to which Kiribati is one of eight signatories, says that legislation fails to adhere to PNA requirements.

Our Marshall Islands correspondent, Giff Johnson says 100 percent observer coverage for purse seiners is one of them.

"So every purse seiner fishing in the region has to have a PNA observer on board while it's fishing. They've now got a four-month ban on using fish aggregating devices, which many of the purse seiners now use to catch tuna."

Giff Johnson says the PNA is warning the EU that it will be contributing to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing if it ignores such requirements.