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Pacific Nations Want Financial Compensation If Forced To Shut Tuna Fisheries

Pacific tuna fisheries that could be forced to close early because of catch quotas in the region say they want financial compensation. Member countries of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) are set to face tough demands at their December meeting.

The 25 member country and territory body of the commission is being called upon by Pacific nations to be compensated for limits to fishing on bigeye, skipjack, bluefin and southern albacore tuna. Quotas could force some fisheries in the region to close early if they reach the weight limit or allocated days for using FADs. Countries feel that their economies need to be compensated if forced to shut.

WCPFC Executive Director said: “For every additional month of the closure they want USD 15 million in compensation because of the disproportionate burden it puts on Pacific island countries and trying to find a way of working through what might be a USD 15 million compensation package or where it might come from is going to be very challenging for the commission and its one of those things I think is going to be very difficult to try and resolve.”