17 Jun 2016

US Fisheries reject allegations of foul play in Pacific

3:36 pm on 17 June 2016

The United States has rejected allegations new government legislation violates conservation measures on high seas fishing.

tuna on the deck of a Pacific fishing vessel

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

The Parties to the Nauru Agreement say the National Marine Fisheries Service last month allocated 1,828 fishing days for the US Purse Seine fleet when only 1270 were allocated by the Tuna Commission last year.

The PNA's retiring chief executive, Transform Aqorau, said the figure, which has been reached by combining 558 fishing days from its exclusive economic zones, allowed its purse seine fleet to evade the commission's measure.

But the regional administrator for Fisheries Service rejects the claims.

Michael Tosatto said combining the limits showed the full commitment by the United States to the conservations measure -- not the other way round.

Mr Tosatto claimed the rule has been applied this way since 2009.

"So we are doing things exactly the same and in each year in the WCPFC in the compliance monitoring framework we have been found to be compliant."