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Bullies control tuna

Small countries lose out

AFTER 14 meetings of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, one thing is obvious. The Distant Water Fishing Nations – China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the United States – continue to bully the owners of tuna stocks in the Pacific.

In fact the small Pacific fisheries nations who own up to 60 per cent of the global tuna were forced yet again into positions in which they made extreme concessions and put the sustainability of stocks at stake. Wez Norris, the outgoing deputy Director General of the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) was blunt in his assessment of the 14th WCPFC held at Pasay City in the Philippines last month.

“Every single Pacific Island country gave up something both in terms of opportunities they had for development (and through measures) which come at a cost, but also provide potential for future benefit,” Norris said. “The five big distant-water longline fleets secured an approximately 10 per cent increase in their catch limits…

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