5 Dec 2016

Tuna commission chair says body needs to be selective

1:56 pm on 5 December 2016

The chair of the governing body for the largest tuna fishery in the world says the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission has to set realistic goals and be selective of issues it can tackle.

Rhea Moss Christian, Chair of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission. Nadi, Fiji WCPFC meeting 2016.

Rhea Moss Christian, Chair of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission. Nadi, Fiji WCPFC meeting 2016. Photo: RNZI/Monical Miller

Speaking to Pacific media on the eve of the 13th session of WPCFC or the Tuna Commission, Rhea Moss-Christian, said most members come to the annual meeting with a wish list.

But Ms Moss-Christian said it is necessary for the commission to be selective and small steps are progress in an organisation with more than 20 members, each with different interests and perspectives.

The Commission said the tuna stock is at 16 percent of acceptable stock levels.

Ms Moss-Christian said a key goal is to try and reach agreement on a big-eye rebuilding timeline which is primarily fished by longliners which are largely unmonitored.

She also wants further progress on safety measures for observers placed on vessels that fish in island countries.

A management plan for shark conservation will also be discussed during the meeting which finishes on Friday.

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