More than 60 per cent of the world's tuna is caught in the Pacific, much of it by powerful distant water fishing nations from Asia, Europe and North America.
Scientists meeting at the region's tuna management body, the Central and Western Pacific Fisheries Commission, have heard bigeye tuna stocks are down to just 16 per of the original population.
The Pacific Islands Tuna Industry Association (PITIA) says nations of the region must act urgently if a crash in the valuable stocks is to be avoided.
Either we act now and we act drastically or we will end up with a fishery that has crashed.
Tima Tupou, executive officer of the Pacific Islands Tuna Industry Association.
"Of course it's going to be challenging to arrive at agreed recommendations," PITIA's executive officer Tima Tupou said.
"We have observed in the past [that] each member of the Commission is... looking to protect their interests or the interests of their industry - so I would say that would have an impact on it.
"But the statistics now show the purse seine catches have exceeded that of the long-line. PITIA acknowledges the fact that both fisheries have a contribution to the depletion of the stock.
"So, if you are asking me how important it is to address the situation in general, I would say either we act now and we act drastically or we will end up with a fishery that has crashed."
The key factor driving the latest falls in the stocks is big purse seine fishing boats operated by the powerful distant water fishing nations including China, Taiwan, and the United States.
Mr Tupou says PITIA is prepared to make sacrifices and Pacific countries and distant water fishing nations should too.
"I think the key is for both parties, both the (Pacific Islands) Forum Fisheries Agency countries as well as the distant water fishing nations to make the necessary sacrifices that we need to make room for conservation.
"Yes, the fleet is majority from the distant water fishing nations, but the licensing authorities for fishing in our zones lie within the Pacific countries.
"We do believe that everybody has a responsibility for sustainability and, of course, there is the interest in maintaining a fishery that has a crucial contribution to our economic development.
"So, yes, the Pacific Island tuna industry definitely has a role to play and that lies within compliance and responsible behaviours."
The Association says the scientists' meeting needs to make clear and robust recommendations to the European Union and 25 other nations that will come together at the main Fisheries Commission meeting in December.