19 Sep 2013

Greenpeace says Pacific should cut back foreign fishing fleets

3:28 pm on 19 September 2013

Greenpeace says the only way that Pacific Island countries can achieve higher returns from the tuna sector is if distant water fishing fleets are pushed out.

During the 4th Pacific Tuna Forum in Solomon Islands Greenpeace has expressed alarm that despite the increased drive for domestic investment and value adding, Pacific Island nations risk losing out on real sustainability and development for their people.

Greenpeace's Duncan Williams says Pacific Island countries have one of the largest tuna stocks in the world and need to receive a fair share of the returns.

Mr Williams says the distant water nations' business model conflicts with the push for sustainability.

"Pacific Island countries need to start limiting licences that they issue to distant water fishing, with the long-term view of actually cutting back on distant water fishing licences altogether. In the short term there needs to be zonal based measures where areas need to be reserved entirely for domestic and local tuna fishing operators."

Mr Williams says Pacific government should revitalise more local sustainable industries such as pole and line fishing.