Conservation Group Calls For Two Year Ban On Bluefin Tuna Fishing In Pacific

Pew Charitable Trusts challenges Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission to take action

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Dec. 6, 2016) – There is a call for a two year ban on fishing for bluefin tuna before this week's meeting in Nadi of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.

The environment advocacy group, the Pew Charitable Trusts, said independent surveys show fishing has depleted bluefin stocks to just 2.7 percent of the levels that existed before the advent of commercial fishing.

The director of Pew's global tuna conservation campaign, Amanda Nickson, said little has been done by key agencies such as the Tuna Commission and governments and this mean a two year moratorium on commercial fishing was needed.

She said under such a scheme blue fin numbers could bounce back quite quickly and the fishing nations need to take action.

"What we have seen for the last four years since it became clear that this population was so heavily in trouble, we have seen delays and lack of adequate action, so if governments are not going to take clear action then we believe that the only respeonsible course of action is a commercial moratorium of the fishing of this species," said Amanda Nickson.

[PIR editor's note: On Dec. 6, 2016 RNZI reported that 'Member countries of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement say some conservation initiatives put in place by the Pacific Tuna Commission are placing a disproportionate burden on small islands. ... The commission, which is the governing body for the world's largest tuna fishery, is meeting in Fiji this week where developed nations have called for a ban on the use of Fish Aggregation Devices, or FADs, to be increased from three months to four. ... They say the measure is aimed at reducing the catch of Bigeye Tuna in the region. ... But Ludwig Kumoru, the chief executive of the PNA, which is a collection of small Pacific states, said an increase would place a disproportionate burden on countries like Tuvalu, where the fishery generates 50 percent of the country's revenue.']

Radio New Zealand International
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We at Partnership for the Environmental Protection of the Pacific, Inc., thoroughly agree with, and endorse, the call for a two-year moratorium on the fishing of bluefin tuna. Visit us at www.pacificpartnership.org.

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