26 Jan 2007

Greenpeace calls on tuna fishing nations to do more to protect fish stocks

4:16 pm on 26 January 2007

The NGO Greenpeace has called on the meeting of Tuna Regional Fisheries Management Organisations, or RFMOs, in Japan this week, to urgently change the way global fish stocks are protected, to ensure their survival and the health of the marine environment as a whole.

Greenpeace's oceans campaigner Lagi Toribau says to date the RFMOs have completely failed to protect tuna stocks around the globe.

He says nations consistently fail to listen to the scientific advice, which is to take the precautionary approach to the management of fish stocks.

Mr Toribau says failure to protect tuna stocks so they can fully recover, will lead to long term economic losses, and have significant impacts on Pacific people who rely on fish for food security and as a source of foreign income.

He says the meeting in Japan needs to deliver unified monitoring, and control and surveillance measures.

Mr Toribau says this should include the establishment of a single, centralised compatible Vessel Monitoring System, or VMS, for all vessels licenced to fish in RFMO regions and the banning of at-sea

transhipments until such time that they can be adequately monitored.