23 Oct 2013

Tuna body warns of more boats; need for tough regulations

9:02 pm on 23 October 2013

The tuna fishing industry in the Pacific is not meeting its target to reduce catches, and leaders of the tuna commission are concerned about more boats entering Pacific waters.

In the lead-up to a crucial meeting in December, where member countries will debate proposals to further limit the catch of bigeye tuna, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission says difficult decisions must be made in the interests of sustainability.

Professor Glenn Hurry says there are already 297 purse seine vessels and around 3000 longline vessels fishing in the Pacific, and there needs to be a consensus about how the region can sustain tuna stocks.

"We've got too many boats in this purse seine fishery at the moment, and there's another 45 under construction in Asian shipyards at the moment and some of those will enter our fishery and we need some strong regulations in place before they do get in."

Professor Glenn Hurry says the Commission will also welcome Indonesia as a member country this year.