3 Dec 2014

"Now or never" for Tuna Commission

7:23 pm on 3 December 2014

Members of Pacific fisheries have told a crucial meeting in Samoa that there's a "now or never" opportunity to stop distant nations taking the "lion's share" of tuna stocks.

The Marshall Islands representative Glen Joseph says he is disappointed the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission has a "hit and miss" approach to Pacific interests.

He told the meeting that the legal obligations of the commission to Pacific countries was only being paid lip-service.

The Parties to the Nauru Agreement have alleged that distant nations are engaged in illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing, and they have fears for the sustainability of the stock.

Yesterday, Feleti Teo, of Tuvalu, was elected as Chair of the Commission.

Tuvalu has raised its concern that distant water fishing nations' longliners did not come close to delivering the bigeye catch reductions they committed to, and bigeye catches in the high seas increased by over 40 percent in 2013 compared to 2012.

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Photo: Giff Johnson