4 Nov 2013

Forum fisheries says all parties need to make tough cuts on tuna catches

6:24 am on 4 November 2013

A regional fisheries body says despite the difficulty in streamlining regulations for the various tuna fishing fleets, new measures will have to be followed by all parties.

The Forum Fisheries Agency, which represents the Pacific Islands Forum countries, is preparing for a crucial regional meeting in Cairns next month, where controversial proposals will be debated.

The Parties to the Nauru Agreement say the catch of bigeye tuna must be further cut, but the Honolulu longline fishery says that would force them to close as early as July.

The Deputy Director General of the FFA, Wez Norris, says it's a complex plan to work out.

"It's easy for the purse seine type countries to say well it's the longliners out there that are catching too much and you need to catch less and it's easy for the longline interests to say well you're killing all the juvenile before we can get a chance to catch them. And that's where we come down as the fact that everybody needs to take measures and so we are looking at this integrated package of measures that apply to purse seine and to longline."

Wez Norris.