27 Sep 2004

Pacific tuna association says regional governments must do more to control foreign fishing boats

7:40 pm on 27 September 2004

A newly formed tuna industry association says that tuna stocks in the Pacific are coming under too much pressure from poorly regulated foreign fishing fleets.

It wants Pacific Island governments to be stricter about the number of licenses that are issued to fishing vessels.

The Chairman of the regional tuna operators association, James Movick, says many of the foreign fishing fleets provided minimal benefits to Pacific Island economies.

Mr Movick says due to their low operating costs, they are able to keep fishing even when tuna stocks fall to low levels, making a bad situation even worse.

The Pohnpei-based Association says other economic pressures for operators were a weak US dollar, increasing fuel prices, high freight rates and rising costs of compliance with consumer standards.