Friday, 19 December 2008 11:08 AM

Tuna Commission

Dear Editor,

In response to your recent editorial describing the outcome of this year's meeting as a "failed compromise" the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency would like to offer the following information:

Actions supported by the FFA members to reduce overfishing of Bigeye Tuna and Yellowfin Tuna that have been adopted include: 1) a cut of 10% in longline fishing, in 2009 2) closure of the high seas and Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ to fishing using Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) for 2 months in 2009 and 3 months in 2010 (July-September) 3) prohibition of purse seine fishing vessels from throwing juvenile fish back to sea 4) agreement to close 2 high seas pockets from January 2010 (details of which will be finalized, including consideration of closing all high seas pockets, by the WCPFC next year) 5) future 100% coverage of purse seine fishing vessels with observers.

Speaking on behalf of the FFA member countries and territories, Theofanes Isamu (Chair of the Forum Fisheries Committee) said: "The Pacific Islands set the agenda for this year's WCPFC meeting with the EU, US and Asian countries responding to proposals manage fishing which are already being undertaken by the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) on a subregional basis." PNA countries are Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

"More will need to be done to truly reduce overfishing," said Isamu. "As owners of the world's biggest tuna fishery, FFA members will continue to participate in the WCPFC to strengthen control and management of tuna fishing in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean."

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter/article are those of FFA and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.

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