6 Dec 2007

Greenpeace praised Tuna Commission for blacklisting boats fishing illegally

3:28 pm on 6 December 2007

Greenpeace has praised the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission's move to blacklist two Venezuelan fishing vessels for illegal fishing in the region.

The "Daniela F" and the "Athena Fe" were found to have encroached on the waters of French Polynesia and the Cook Islands.

The regional fishing regulatory body has also finalized boating inspection guidelines and begun reviewing conservation rules.

Greenpeace's Pacific Ocean Team leader Nilesh Gounder says they applaud any effort to crackdown on the practice.

Mr Gounder was on an observer mission with officials from Kiribati and the Federated States of Micronesia last year, and says he saw first hand how clever pirate fishing has become.

"Pirate fishers are becoming more cleverer, they know the loopholes and they know how to exploit them and therefore the onus is on us as the Pacific and as part of the Tuna Commission to really crack down on pirate fishing and just have a zero tolerance towards them so we commend the Tuna Commission."

Nilesh Gounder.

The commission is in talks at its annual meeting in Guam this week over various fishing resolutions, including a recommendation to cut the Bigeye tuna catch by 25-percent and Yellowfin tuna by 10-percent.