9 Feb 2016

PNA head sees end of US tuna treaty as Pacific opportunity

12:54 pm on 9 February 2016

The head of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement says the squabble with the United States over fishing access is a distraction for the region's fisheries officials.

tuna on the deck of a Pacific fishing vessel

tuna on the deck of a Pacific fishing vessel Photo: Giff Johnson

Pacific nations are meeting in Nadi with the focus on the future of a tuna treaty with the US after it pulled out of a deal that had been re-signed last year.

The PNA's Dr Transform Aqorau said there were more important fishing matters for the region to be discussing.

He said the recent collapse of the nearly 30-year-old treaty with the US government and its tuna industry opened a huge opportunity for PNA to re-assert control over the fishery.

The Forum Fisheries Agency called the three-day meeting this week in Fiji so the islands can respond to the US State Department's formal announcement last month that it is withdrawing from the treaty that has governed the US tuna industry since the late 1980s.