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PNA slams Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission meeting

The Parties to the Nauru Agreement says the latest meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission didn’t go far enough towards conservation and management of tuna.

Last week’s meeting concluded without any progress on PNA’s proposals to extend a number of conservation measures to the entire Western and Central Pacific Ocean, not just the waters of PNA member countries.

The measures include measures against overfishing of bigeye tuna, to protect whale sharks, and to have a four-month ban on Fish Aggregating Devices, which result in bycatches of young tuna and other species.

The Commission has existing conservation measures such as closing the high seas areas and 100% coverage of observers on purse seine fishing vessels.

However, in a release, the PNA Chairman, Transform Aqorau, said the Commission’s decision to reopen some of the high seas to fishing was disappointing.

Dr Aqorau says that when large scale commercial fishing interests drive governments at the Commission it’s difficult to make any progress towards conservation and management of tuna.



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