Pacific region contributed 55 per cent of global tuna catch: Report

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By MICHELLE AUAMOROMORO
THE Western and Central Pacific continues to have the richest tuna stocks and highest tuna production in the world, says a global report.
The report from the 2018 global tuna production showed that the region contributed 55 per cent of the global tuna catch and in terms of the total catch for the entire Pacific Ocean, it contributed 81 per cent.
“This accomplishment is not matched by any other regional ocean in the world,” Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission executive director Feleti Teo during the opening of its 16th session yesterday.
Teo also raised a concern that with such achievement came the temptation to be complacent and to be less vigilant in the collective conservation efforts.
“With the key tuna stocks in healthy condition the pressure to loosen or weaken some of the conservation actions of the past years will certainly increase,” he said.
Teo reminded the members and the participating territories that WCPFC’s central focus as a conservation organisation was the biological sustainability of the fish stocks.
“All other considerations and interests whether financial, economic or commercial must remain subservient to that central focus,” he said. WCPFC chairperson Jung-re Riley Kim said that harvest strategy was one of their core objectives.
Kim said that it was agreed during the last session in Honolulu, Hawaii that the commission’s 16th session would move forward with the discussions and development of a harvest strategy.
“I expect that WCPFC 16 will make meaningful progress moving our discussions forward,” she said.
“Although our steps may be slower than we hope for, and we may have to build an extended bridge next year for tropical tuna, but I’m convinced we will eventually get there.”

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