11 Dec 2008

Tuna Commission meeting struggles to agree on catch limits

2:36 pm on 11 December 2008

Delegates of the Tuna Commission meeting in South Korea have still not reached agreement on any of the measures put forward to try to reduce the catch of Bigeye and Yellowfin in the Central and Western Pacific.

The meeting is also still considering requests for other fishing nations to have links to the Commission.

Plans to have catches transshipped onto larger storage vessels in port, or near to port, rather than at sea are also yet to be resolved.

From the meeting in Busan, Philippa Tolley reports:

"Working groups have spent long hours trying to work out ways to cut the catch of Bigeye that are acceptable to all parties.Efforts are still going on and last minute progress is possible, but finding a solution that all nations can work with has still not been achieved.Last year's meeting of the Tuna Commission in Guam ending without any progress and those involved with the organisation said it was imperative that some deal be reached this time round if the body was not to be seen as a failure, unable to manage the stocks it was set up to preserve.Other proposals, such as a requirement that boats keep entire shark carcasses on board, rather than being able to fill their holds with just fins, is also awaiting approval."