PACIFIC FISHING NATIONS STILL UNABLE TO REACH AGREEMENT ON TUNA QUOTAS

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TOKYO, Japan (October 19, 2001 – Radio Australia)---An international meeting in Japan, organized to decide future catch limits for southern bluefin tuna, has ended without agreement.

It's the fourth consecutive year the parties have not been able to agree on new limits, with Japan still seeking to increase its fish quota.

Radio Australia Tokyo correspondent Mark Simkin has the story.

"The meeting brought together Japan, Australia, and New Zealand along with smaller fishing nations.

"The parties were to have decided on new catch limits, but after four days of negotiation the meeting has ended in confusion with no agreement being reached.

"Bluefin tuna is hugely popular in Japan, where a single fish can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"Environmental groups say the species is critically endangered and have expressed disappointment at the breakdown in talks.

"Mark Simkin, Radio Australia, Tokyo."

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

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