LONG-LINE FISHING NOT AFFECTING MARSHALL ISLANDS’

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SPORT FISHING

MAJURO, Marshall Islands (July 6, 1998 - Radio Australia)---A new report indicates there is no clear evidence showing that increased long-line fishing in the Marshall Islands is harming sports fishing.

The study by fisheries experts says El Niño conditions, which cause ocean waters to warm, may be to blame for occasional declines in the number of marlin caught in and around the Majuro Atoll area of the Marshalls.

The report by the Nouméa-based Pacific Community's Oceanic Fisheries Program, was conducted in response to concern raised by the Marshalls Billfish Club, which believes commercial long line fishing is depleting marlin and other fishing resources.

The study found that catch rates for marlin, since 1994, have fallen slightly, but still remain above average.

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