CALL FOR FISHING NATIONS TO REDUCE THEIR CATCH

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ROME, Italy (November 4, 1998 - Radio Australia)---The European union and 81 countries worldwide have called for urgent measures to control their fishing activities in view of dwindling stocks.

The Rome based United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization -- FAO -- made the announcement following a five-day conference.

It says the delegates agreed on three documents concerning the operation of fishing fleets and the protection of sharks and sea birds.

Out of 61 species of sea birds, 23 are on the endangered list, including albatrosses and giant petrels, which are caught in nets.

The agreements urge the states to take urgent measures to control their fishing capacities, taking into account FAO estimates that 35 percent of the 200 main marine resources are in decline.

The non-binding agreements will be taken up at the FAO's fishing committee's next meeting in February.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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