14 Nov 2009

Environmental groups predict grim outlook for non-tuna deep sea fisheries

11:18 am on 14 November 2009

Environmental groups are predicting a grim outlook for non-tuna deep sea fisheries in the South Pacific, as negotiators struggle to agree on how to protect the stock before a new treaty is adopted.

Delegates from 27 countries have been meeting in Auckland this week to establish a South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management organisation.

It could be three years before a treaty is fully signed and ratified.

Cath Wallace, a spokesperson for more than 30 environmental activist groups, says nations such as China and Russia have been standing firm over catch limits in the meantime.

"It does not look good and its unfortunately going to cement in some very serious stock declines in a fishery which is not only really important to lots of coastal communities, particularly around eastern Pacific but it's also going to allow so much to be taken and the whole ecology will be disturbed."

Cath Wallace from the Environment and Conservation Organisations.