8 Jul 2008

Lack of EEZ enforcement barrier to protecting tuna

10:23 am on 8 July 2008

The Governor of Guam says the lack of enforcement of their Exclusive Economic Zone is a major barrier to protecting declining tuna fish stocks in their waters and its concerned about a bill before the US congress.

The bill would allow U.S. flagged foreign built purse seine vessels to fish in the EEZs of US territories in the Pacific.

Governor Felix Comacho says the US coastguard does try to monitor and enforce Guam's EEZ, but their vessels are few compared to the number of purse seiners who would fish there.

He says the proposed extension of foreign flagged vessels is a matter of national concern.

"Between Guam and all of Micronesia the foreign flagged vessels that are in there whether they be Japanese, Chinese, Korean...etc....are having a tremendous impact on the stock of tuna. We have yellow fin tuna up in the north pacific, and at the rate at which they are cleaning up the sea and sweeping it with all their purse seiners and long liners, its having a tremendous impact on the quality of fish we have up there and the livestocks and the future sustainability of this market."