17 Dec 2018

New resolutions could mean more Pacific crews on fishing vessels

9:54 am on 17 December 2018

An observer says new resolutions by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission could put more Pacific crew on fishing vessels.

 Tuna on the deck of a Pacific fishing vessel.

Tuna on the deck of a Pacific fishing vessel. Photo: RNZI/Giff Johnson

The body, also known as the Tuna Commission, completed its annual meeting last week in Hawaii.

The World Wide Fund for Nature's Bubba Cook said there was a desire to reach consensus which hasn't been there in the past.

He said a key decision was a resolution to improve crew welfare.

Mr Cook said with exposure in the media there had been much more focus on crew abuse aboard fishing vessels.

And he said the Pacific saw it as not only addressing an issue of justice, but also encouraging more Pacific Islanders to become crew.

"Go to Suva harbour and you see some of the longline vessels from China and Chinese Taipei that are heavily rusted, heavily listing.

"They are floating death traps and who would want to work on one of those vessels. So by raising the standard throughout the Pacific, and throughout the world for that matter, we are creating employment opportunities for others in the Pacific Islands as well."

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