26 Nov 2013

Head of Tuna Commission says vote may be needed at Cairns meeting

4:15 pm on 26 November 2013

The Executive Director of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission says the member groups may have to vote next week if they can't agree on new regulations.

The main item on the agenda for the Tuna Commission is the need to reduce the catch of bigeye tuna, but both longline and purse seine fisheries are locked in debate about which method harms fish stocks more.

Professor Glenn Hurry says the commission works by consensus, but it may need to vote on regulations for the first time if they can't agree on recent proposals to increase limits on how much can be caught.

"The one thing we must get out of this is an agreement to a really robust conservation measure on these tropical tuna species. If we don't do that our credibility as a commission is starting to look fairly weak. Now whether you get that by consensus or whether you get that by voting is largely up to the chair and the members but we must leave Cairns with a robust and decent agreement."

Professory Glenn Hurry.