8 Oct 2008

Forum keen to curb distant fishing nations to save tuna stocks

2:02 pm on 8 October 2008

Pacific Islands Forum countries are stepping up pressure on distant fishing nations to try and save the region's dwindling stocks of tuna.

In its three-monthly assessment of the Pacific Plan on regional co-operation, the Forum says one of the critical issues is the intense global interest in the region's fish stocks coupled with illegal fishing.

The body says it is a major concern that measures by the Tuna Commission in Pohnpei are unlikely to protect current stocks.

The acting secretary general of the Pacific Islands Forum, Feleti Teo, says they need an urgent effort to secure the future of the Pacific's tuna and coastal fisheries.

But he says one bold move by the region is the restriction being placed on distant fishing nations under the Nauru Agreement.

"What they have done is they have imposed conditions within their national waters which force distant fishing nations to adhere to the same conditions in the high seas, because of the inability of the Tuna Commission to impose similar conditions in the high seas."

Feleti Teo