Data loading...

WCPFC Should Adopt Same Conservation Measures As PNA Solomon Islands, August 24, 12

Pew environmental Group has called on pacific leaders and those from Distance Water Fishing Nations (DWFNs) to make decisions regarding tuna fisheries based on science.

Pew officer international policy Adam Baske said, Pew would like to see decisions regarding tuna management in the pacific are based on best available science.

“What Pew would like to see in terms of pacific Island leaders in regards to tuna management is to take the best decisions base on science and a lot of that science comes from the Pacific, the Secretariat of Pacific Communities (SPC).

“It is incredibly important that decision makers not just from the Pacific but those from DWFNs like Japan, the US and European Union manage this fishery in line with the best available science and they start to take some real action in terms of regulating their fishing gears that are having the impact on the whole marine eco-system.

“So we need to get away from just taking as much fish as we can and start thinking about putting the limits and regulations on these fishing gears,” Mr. Baske said.

He added that decisions one country makes in their waters can make a big difference.

“Solomon Islands has the second biggest ocean area (EEZ) and if there are measures that go above and beyond management measures already taken by Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) and the Tuna Commission, that is a bonus and has conservation benefits to it,” Baske added.

Mr. Baske said what Pew would like to see is measures taken at a much broader area because these tuna species migrate between economic zones and the high seas and it is extremely important that measures that are taken cover their entire range.

Pew director for global tuna conservation campaign Amanda Nickson said; “We see a real opportunity for the Solomon Islands to be leaders in the pacific in tuna fisheries.”

Nickson added that their hope would be that PNA do continue to take strong measures in their waters to make sure that skipjack do not end up in the same situation as big-eye tuna which is experiencing over fishing and it’s not sustainable right now how that fishing is happening.

“So we would like to see in a few years that trend reversed to end over fishing and that stock can recover and can be healthier again. But that’s gonna require some wider initiatives in the Pacific to end that.

“And if the PNA countries stick to the leadership that they are showing now, then the Pacific will become the best managed tuna fishery in the world,” Ms Nickson highlighted.

Meanwhile Mr. Baske said the challenge for PNA countries is they have to adhere to all the rules they are making and if the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) adopts measures that reinforced what has been adopted in the PNA, then there is potential for this fishery to be healthier in the future.

The Pew environmental group has a large global environmental marine conservation program where they work on a number of important marine conservation issues including global tuna stocks, prevention or elimination of to Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, shark conservation, and designation of large marine protected areas.