28 Aug 2004

Calls for comprehensive tuna survey

7:41 am on 28 August 2004

There are calls for a comprehensive assessment of the Pacific's tuna stocks following the recent meeting of the 17th Standing Committee on Tuna and Billfish in the Marshall Islands.

The Manager of the Oceanic Fisheries Programme John Hampton told the conference that bigeye and yellowfin tuna are threatened by overfishing.

A report from Mr Hampton tabled at the meeting says that bigeye, which comprise six percent of the total Pacific tuna catch, are being overfished "and the current level of exploitation appears not to be sustainable in the long term".

The deputy director of the Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority, Glen Joseph, says it's clear the region needs to work together to properly assess the tuna stocks:

"What it really calls for is a regional assessment in terms of all the member countries concerned to provide adequate and quality data to properly conduct a regional assessment of the tuna ."