18 Oct 2013

Scientists admonish fishery commission after record 2012 tuna catch

9:12 am on 18 October 2013

An international group of scientists has reprimanded the Western and Central Pacific Fishery Commission after news of a record 2012 tuna catch.

The total 2012 catch is approximately 2.6 million tonnes, the highest on record and includes bigeye tuna, which has been fished for decades at an unsustainable level.

The Scientific and Statistical Committee says it wants its concerns taken to the fishery commission, which manages highly migratory fish species.

The scientists reviewed the proposal put forward by Japan, the Parties to the Nauru Agreement members and the Philippines, which would reduce bigeye tuna catches for the longline fishery, including a 45 percent reduction in the current bigeye quota for the Hawai'i longline fishery.

The current quota for the Hawai'i fishery has been in place since 2009 and has caused the fishery to shut down early twice.

Should the proposed additional reduction in catches be approved, the Hawai'i longline fishery could close as early as July.