5 Sep 2013

SPC commends US for fining US vessels over breaches

10:15 am on 5 September 2013

The Secretariat of the Pacific Community has commended the United States for fining its own fishing vessels.

Six tuna fishing operators were fined a total of over 1.5 million US dollars by a Honolulu court for using banned fish aggregating devices and depleting Pacific fish stocks.

The purse-seine fishing vessels were flauting a 2009 ban on the devices that attract small bigeye tuna.

Crucial evidence was given to the court by observers on the boats, who are trained by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

The Manager of the oceanic fisheries programme at the SPC, Dr John Hampton, says he commends the United States for taking action against their own vessels, adding others should do the same.

"All credit to the US Government for zealously following up reports of irregularities amongst its own fleet. They are particularly good at that and follow up these sorts of reports with a lot of vigour and I think it would be great if other distant-water fishing nations followed suit."

The Manager of the oceanic fisheries programme at the SPC, Dr John Hampton.