22 Aug 2006

Greenpeace calls for action to prevent overfishing in Pacific Islands region

7:33 pm on 22 August 2006

There is a proposal from Greenpeace to set up marine reserves in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean to prevent overfishing and replenish fish stocks.

Greenpeace's Oceans Team leader, Nilesh Gounder, says they are concerned that yellowfin and bigeye tuna are being overfished with catch levels in the region now at 2 million tonnes per year.

Mr Gounder says Greenpeace is putting several recommendations to the Tuna Commission which it would like to see action taken on.

He says first among these is a 50 percent reduction in catch levels per year.

"Secondly, we are calling for 40 percent of the oceans to be set aside and enforced as a marine reserve. In particular, we have a high seas area which is bound by Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, that could be set aside."

Mr Gounder says there is no support from these countries for the proposal as yet but they are working on seeing the concept adopted.