Tuna fishing ban in Pacific partially lifted
After two-year ban to replenish depleted stocks, limited access granted to fish in Pacific, where 60% of world’s tuna are sourced
Pacific nations have reopened the Pacific high seas to commercial tuna fishing after a two-year ban imposed to preserve declining bigeye tuna stocks.
In a meeting in Guam last week, member countries of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) lifted the fishing ban on pockets 1 and 2 of the Pacific Ocean.
In January 2010, the WCPFC placed the ban on parts of the Pacific Ocean, where 60% of the world’s tuna are sourced, to conserve the population of the bigeye tuna, which scientists classified as overfished. Other tuna species like skipjack, yellowfin, and albacore also found in the Pacific high seas but their numbers have not reached an alarming low.
Although it lifted the ban, the commission maintained that entry to the marine reserves would be limited, refusing proposals from the European Community and South Korea for a free-for-all access to one of the world’s richest fishing grounds.