1 Jun 2007

Greenpeace calls for cut in tuna catch to sustain fisheries

3:34 pm on 1 June 2007

A Greenpeace oceans campaigner says the catch for some tuna needs to be reduced by as much as 50 percent if the Pacific fisheries industry is to be sustained for future generations.

Forum Fisheries Agency Members from around the Pacific have been meeting in New Zealand this week, with the state of the region's tuna fisheries being the key issue at the meetings.

A Greenpeace oceans campaigner, Michael Hagler, says the calls at the meetings for a reduction of 25 percent of the catch for bigeye tuna and 10 percent for yellowfin tuna is insufficient to provide the kind of protection that's needed.

He says illegal fishing further exacerbates this problem.

"O ne of the big problems in the Pacific, is illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, so when they say that two billion tonnes is coming out of the waters of the Pacific, in reality, it's much greater than that. It's a very serious problem. If they don't get a handle on that very very soon, the tuna fisheries, the lifeblood of the Pacific people, will be destroyed."

Michael Hagler says Pacific peoples see very little in return for the estimated two billion tonnes of tuna that comes out of the Pacific ocean each year.