7 Dec 2012

PNA says meeting ends with no cuts to fishing of bigeye tuna

7:30 am on 7 December 2012

The parties to the Nauru Agreement say the Western and Central Pacific Commission meeting ended with a temporary measure allowing big fishing nations to continue to overfish bigeye tuna.

The meeting in Manila closed with a new conservation and management measure on tuna which will be applied until the end of 2013.

It also banned setting nets on whale sharks in the waters from 20 degrees South to 30 degrees North, a move welcomed by the PNA.

Its chair, Nanette Malsol, says they are also pleased the commission has allowed Pacific countries to see all fishing vessels in their waters that are on the commission vessel monitoring system, closing a loophole for illegal fishing.

But she says the big fishing nations at the gathering did not make any significant commitments to cut their overfishing of bigeye tuna.

She says the EU, US, Japan and the other Asian countries overfish bigeye tuna with their longline fishing vessels or by using Fish Aggregating Devices.

Nanette Malsol says it's these fishing nations that have historically overfished bigeye tuna.