23 Mar 2004

French Polynesia expects tuna stocks to be replenished

3:37 pm on 23 March 2004

The fishing authorities in French Polynesia says they expect tuna fish stocks will be replenished this year and next.

A Fishing Service official, Christophe Misselis, told the Tahitipresse news agency that the sharp decline in the number of tuna fish can be attributed to changes brought about the 1997 El Nino phenomenon.

He says the catch of many vessels has dropped sharply, with some ships bringing in only 10 tonnes when last year they caught 60 tonnes.

Last year's tuna catch was worth just under 25 million US dollars.

French Polynesia caught 6,400 tonnes of tuna last year but with the tripling of fishing boats operating in its waters it plans to catch 30,000 tonnes a year from 2008.