2 Jun 2007

New Zealand's Minister of Fisheries says Pacific region must work together

12:37 pm on 2 June 2007

New Zealand's Minister of Fisheries says the Pacific region must work together to manage it's fisheries resources, if it is to save the industry from collapse.

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

New Zealand Minister of Fisheries, Jim Anderton says while the Pacific enjoys one of the healthiest and most abundant tuna fisheries in the world, it is at risk from illegal and over-fishing.

"O ur tuna resource is at risk. Two important species, big eye and yellowfin tuna, if they continue to be fished in the same way as we are doing now, we will destroy the fish stock. Pacific countries, as well as those far away are of course looking to increase their share of resources, we have some hard issues ahead of us."

Jim Anderton says the whole Pacific region will face huge long-term economic issues if these problems are not immediately addressed.