9 Dec 2008

Tuna Commission considers restrictions on some fishing practices

8:21 pm on 9 December 2008

The Western and Central Pacific Tuna Commission meeting in South Korea is considering temporary restrictions on some fishing practices in order to preserve fish stocks.

One of the measures would be a closure for three months of purse seine netting using what are know as Fish Aggregating Devices..floating objects or platforms with material hanging into the water beneath them,attracting fish.

As part of Greenpeace's campaign for even greater cutbacks in tuna fish in this region, they displayed a FAD lifted from international waters between Solomon Islands, Nauru and Kiribati, that consisted of a wooden pallet and a tube of netting, with many strips of plastic attached.

It also had a satellite beacon placed on top so the unknown owner could track the device.

Ocean's Campaigner with Greenpeace, Sari Tolvanen, says Greenpeace wants to see a longer break in the use of these devices because of a huge increase in useage:

"And this is why it has become so problematic because it attracts the juvenille fish and tuna they all get caught in one big the nets when the fishing boat comes and collects the catch from the FADs so its stopping the recovery of the more declined tuna stocks such as Big eye and yellow fin ."

Other conservation measures being proposed to achieve the 30 per cent reduction in the catch of Bigeye and Yellowfin include high seas closures and a catch retention scheme.