1 Jun 2017

Huge reduction in rogue fishing vessels in the Pacific: FFA

1:53 pm on 1 June 2017

The Forum Fisheries Agency says there has been a major reduction in illegal fishing vessels in the South Pacific tuna fishery.

This comes after no rogue vessels were found during the latest ten day surveillance operation, Tui Moana, which ended last Friday.

The multi-lateral operation covered 7.3 m square km in Polynesia and involved Tonga, Samoa, the Cook Islands, Niue, Fiji and Tuvalu with support from the United States, France, Australia and New Zealand.

The deputy director general of the agency Wez Norris said four regional surveillance operations were run every year in different parts of the fishery and he said this had made a big impact on illegal fishing.

"And that is a very positive sign and we attribute that to the fact that the fishing industry by and large knows that they are under a lot of scrutiny.

"What we have seen, though, is a continuation and perhaps even an increase of licensed vessels operating slightly outside of their terms and conditions, whether that is mis-reporting and under-reporting their catch, whether it is engaging in transhipment activities that they shouldn't."

Operation Tui Moana found 10 such vessels which are now being investigated.

Indonesian police secure a vessel suspected of illegal fishing in West Papua waters.

Indonesian police secure a vessel suspected of illegal fishing in West Papua waters. Photo: Jubi/Niko

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