ISSF: Close purse seine tuna fishery


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
December 6, 2009

 The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation on Friday called for a temporary closure of the purse seine tuna fishery in the western and central Pacific Ocean.

The appeal comes just as the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) is due to convene for its annual meeting in Papeete, Tahiti, on Monday.

At the meeting, WCPFC's scientific committee will warn members that Conservation Management Measure 2001-01 will not achieve its objectives, resulting in the region's bigeye tuna stock entering an overfished state, according to ISSF.

ISSF is urging WCPFC to amend the measure to include a temporary closure to achieve a 43 percent reduction in bigeye tuna fishing effort. While the area's yellowfin tuna stock is not overfished, ISSF also supports a recommendation that the catch not be increased.

"We're at a crossroads," said Dr. William Fox, fisheries VP for the World Wildlife Fund-US and an ISSF board member. "Nations have to decide whether to act now and take the steps necessary to reverse the decline of bigeye and protect yellowfin's future or maintain the status quo, possibly contributing to a further decline in stock health. We think the choice is obvious."

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