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VIET SEAFOOD

South Pacific Albacore Tuna – Are Measures Needed?

Scientists that work for the fishery council in charge of managing American Samoa’s tuna resources are calling for stricter measures to protect the south Pacific albacore stock, which they say has reached about 90% of its maximum sustainable yield.
The Western Pacific Fishery Management Council, established by the US government to manage fisheries in offshore waters, says catches of south Pacific albacore by all fleets south of the equator have more than doubled in the past decade. The group says this is primarily due to the doubling of Chinese vessels that are fishing under access agreements with the Solomon Islands. It also says Taiwanese longliners have switched from targeting bigeye to targeting albacore tuna.
There is a management measure in place by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), the regional fisheries management organization, but the scientists say it is not working.
“[The measure] 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,” Paul Dalzell, senior scientist with the Western Pacific Fishery Management Council told media.
The Council will be meeting March 12-14 in American Samoa to discuss management options and recommendations from its scientific advisory committee.
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