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Catch limits urged to save flagging tuna fisheries

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 30, 2011) – The eight members of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement say the United States must support the PNA’s sustainable management of tuna.

This follows the withdrawal of Papua New Guinea from the fishing treaty negotiated between the US and the 17 Pacific Islands countries.

Under the US Treaty, the US could have up to 40 vessels fishing unrestricted catches for unlimited days in Pacific national Exclusive Economic Zones and high seas.

However, the PNA controls fishing through regulating the number of days fished in their area each year.

Boats from other countries commonly pay 3,000 US dollars or more for a fishing day.

However the US only pays 300 dollars.

The US Treaty is seen as economically disadvantageous by the PNA as it resulted in large American catches of unsustainably fished bigeye tuna.

The treaty officially ends in 2012 when the PNA wants all countries who fish in PNA waters - including the US - to observe PNA conservation and management measures.

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