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Call for more stringent conservation measures from major Pacfic fisheries body

The advisory committee for the United States Pacific territories’ regional fishery council wants to see one of the region’s major fisheries bodies adopt more stringent conservation measures.Paul Dalzell is a senior scientist with the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council and the staff support for the Scientific and Statistical Committee, which has met in Hawaii this week.Mr Dalzell says American Samoa’s longline albacore industry is very important to neighbouring countries but is under increasing pressure to remain viable.He says over recent years longline catches of south Pacific albacore have reached 90 percent of maximum yield. “You’ve got nowhere to go but down, basically. There is a management measure in place from the West Central Pacific Fishery Commission which is not to increase fishing effort south of 20 degrees south, well, what’s happened is, there’s been a lot of expansion of effort north of 20 degrees south, and that’s the problem.”The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council’s Paul Dalzell.Updated 03/01/2013 to reflect correction in paragraph 4 changing purse seiner to longline.