17 May 2009

Pacific nations discuss tuna fisheries

5:51 am on 17 May 2009

The Fisheries Minister was due to fly to Niue on Sunday for multi-country meetings on better management of Pacific Island tuna fisheries.

Tuna fisheries exports are worth about $3.9 billion a year to the region.

The Minister Phil Heatley says representatives from 16 countries are part of the 70th annual meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee.

The forum aims to find a more consistent method of management, including stopping illegal fishing.

Mr Heatley says tuna migrate within the Pacific area and New Zealand will benefit from better management because the health of the fish stock off this country's shores is affected.

The Minister is calling for a one-voice approach on the issue from Pacific nations.