9 Dec 2015

PNA "deeply disappointed" at meeting failure over tuna

7:07 am on 9 December 2015

The Commission has just concluded its meeting in Bali.

The PNA chairman Eugene Pangelinan says they had presented a balanced package of longline and purse seine proposals for the meeting and they had received wide support for their proposals.

But he says they would come away without a meaningful measure on tropical tuna species Bigeye, Skipjack and Yellowfin.

The Marshalls fisheries department director Glen Joseph said he is happy to see that the purse seine fishing industry has begun taking action to modify fishing gear to reduce by catch of bigeye tuna. Here, a purse seiner off loads its tuna catch in Majuro.

A purse seiner offloads its tuna catch in Majuro. Photo: RNZI / Giff Johnson

Tough measures to ensure observers' safety

Meanwhile, tough new measures have been put in place to ensure the safety of observers on fishing boats in the Pacific.

Islands Business reports from the end of 2016, hefty fines will be levied on the captains and owners of boats which are deemed unsafe for regional observers.

The observers collect data vital to understanding fishing operations and ensuring the sustainability of stocks.

The deaths of at least two fisheries officers at sea have prompted the hard line stand taken at the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission's 12th Regular Session.

Transform Aqorau of the Office of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement said measures were needed to better deal with the intimidation and assault.

From the end of 2016 all observers will have to carry independent two way communication satellite-based devices and waterproof personal lifesaving beacons.

These will allow them to call home without having to ask the ship's captain to use his facilities and will track the observers location in case they fall overboard.

Commission members running observer programs will also have to have an Emergency Action Plan to respond to urgent requests from their observers when they face threats