ISSF urges for better management of Pacific tuna fishing

Bigeye, skipjack tuna still at risk of overfishing, foundation says.

The International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) is calling for better management of stocks and monitoring requirements in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO).

ISSF submitted a position statement to the 13th regular session meeting of the of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) in Nadi, Fiji, on Dec. 5-9.

It said catches of bigeye tuna have to be reduced, and the industry should shift over to non-entangling FADs to protect sharks.

"As stewards of the world’s largest tuna fishing grounds, WCPFC members carry a significant proportion of responsibility for the sustainable management of global tuna,” said ISSF President Susan Jackson.

Although bigeye catches in 2015 were 16 percent lower than in 2014, short-term projections reviewed by the 12th Regular Session of the WCPFC Scientific Committee (SC12) show bigeye remains overfished.

To end overfishing, fishing mortality needs to be reduced by about 36 percent, ISSF said. Skipjack it also at risk of overfishing unless effective capacity management curbs potential increases in fishing effort.

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