12 Nov 2009

Talks continue to set up fisheries organisation

6:51 pm on 12 November 2009

It's hoped an international agreement will be reached this week to establish a South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management organisation.

A meeting of 27 countries has been taking place in Auckland this week to draw up a framework for better management of fish stocks, excluding tuna.

Tuna conservation management is covered under the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, but the South Pacific Ocean is not covered by an organisation with a mandate to conserve and manage non-highly migratory fisheries in the region.

That has caused concern about depleting fish stocks and environmental damage to the sea floor through bottom trawling.

The Deepsea Conservation Coalition, which represents 60 non-Government organisations, has also been at the negotiations.

Spokesperson Duncan Currie says while an agreement looks hopeful, there is resistance from countries such as Russia and Peru over fishing of the jack mackerel species off South America.

The eighth round of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management negotiations ends on Friday.