14 Nov 2012

Study suggests zoning effective in controlling over-fishing of Pacific bigeye tuna

2:35 pm on 14 November 2012

A study suggests that marine zoning in the Pacific could be more effective at improving the dwindling numbers of bigeye tuna than simply closing areas off to fishing.

Mike Batty of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, which is involved in the study, says they looked at some of the management measures that have been put in place to control over-fishing of the species.

He says they found that shutting areas off to fishing tends to shift the problem to another area.

"Closing areas of the high seas to fishing which is a measure that has been done, is not a particularly effective way of constraining fishing efforts on big eye tuna because the fishing has simply moved into the neighbouring zones of Pacific Island countries."

Mike Batty says controls on certain fishing methods used to catch bigeye tuna could be introduced in marine zones.

He says zoning would also make it easier to maximise the benefits for coastal states in terms of balancing conservation measures with the fishing opportunities they need for their economic development.