Calls for more action on tuna overfishing

Calls for more action on tuna overfishing

Calls for more action on tuna overfishing

Posted 10 December 2012, 9:42 AEST

A peak regional group has called for more action to address the overfishing of tuna in the Pacific.

A peak regional group has called for more action to address the overfishing of tuna in the Pacific.

The call from the Secretariat of Pacific Communities follows the annual meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission in the Philippines.

Dr Mike Batty, the director of the SPC's Fisheries Division has told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat, says the meeting ended on Friday without addressing the overfishing of bigeye and albacore tuna.

"It's much the same as usual at these meetings," he said.

"There's a certain amount of goodwill, but it's difficult to get people to sign up to agreements which they see as disadvantaging their fishing industry."

Some progress was made on conservation measures for seabirds and whale sharks, but conservationists had hoped for more action to curb the depletion of vital fish stocks.

Dr Batty says distant-water fishing nations did agree that overfishing is taking place.

"Interestingly, there was a proposal to reduce overfishing of bigeye, but not to level that would yield the maximum sustainable yield," he said.

"The distant water fishing nations insisted that the target should be lower than that and that we should be looking at bigeye stock that will be yielding the maximum possible."