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Talks on new fishing rules begin

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

THE Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) will hold its second Intersessional meeting recently to progress the draft bridging measure for tropical tunas that expires at the end of this month.

This was revealed by Tuna Commission chair Rhea Moss-Christian in a media briefing with Pacific Journalist in Manila.

Tropical tunas include skipjack, bigeye and yellowfin tuna.

In 2015 the catch of these species in the waters of Forum Fisheries Agency countries was worth more $US2 billion ($F4b).

For some nations tuna income is the main source of revenue paying for vital services such as schools and hospitals.

The WCPFC's tropical tuna measure sets the rules on how much fish can be caught and whether fishing is sustainable. It also affects how benefits are allocated.

"This year probably the key issue for the Commission is discussing this tropical tuna measure.

"The discussions began about 17 months ago and the current tropical tuna measure expires at the end of this month which is why the commission has been working toward developing a new measure to take its place," Ms Moss-Christian told journalists on Thursday.

"So the commission will be meeting tomorrow (Friday) in a second special session to consider the draft Tuna measure the first one was in Honolulu in August. So that meeting will be taking place tomorrow (Friday) with all the Commission members and will focus on outstanding issues that came out of the Honolulu discussions."

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