4 Feb 2015

Fisheries official claims China fleet driving price of tuna down

8:24 am on 4 February 2015

An official of the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council says China's heavily subsidised fishing fleet is driving the price of tuna down.

Speaking at a hearing in American Samoa, Eric Kingma, says one of biggest threats facing the U.S. fishing fleet in the region is China's fleet harvesting a large quantity of albacore tuna.

He says due to a greater number of Chinese vessels in the region, there are thousands more tons of albacore being harvested on the high-seas and in the exclusive economic zones of American Samoa's neighbours.

Mr Kingma says China's albacore harvest ten years ago was about 3,000 tons but the current catch level is ten times that.

"China is providing subsidies to its fishing vessels for vessel construction, labour, fuel and when they catch the fish they also provide subsidies to send that fish to China."

An official of the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council, Eric Kingma.