World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Getting To The Point On Pacific Tuna Fisheries


Getting To The Point On Pacific Tuna Fisheries

Scientists call for reference points to replace the current gridlock

For immediate release, 6 December 2012

The viability of the Western Central Pacific tuna fishery is at risk from a failure to reach decisions on management because of competing political and economic goals, according to scientists attending the annual meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) today [6 December 2012] in Manila.

Recent analyses by the Secretariat of Pacific Community (SPC) fisheries scientists show that overfishing of bigeye tuna is already a problem, while the albacore tuna catch has risen rapidly to levels that threaten the profitability of Pacific Island fisheries.

Mike Batty, head of SPC Fisheries, says while not all tuna are at risk, stocks of all four main species have fallen to historically low levels.

“Many Pacific Island countries rely on tuna fisheries for employment, food security and income. Continuing the increase in fishing effort will have a negative impact on these countries,” he says.

The Western and Central Pacific tuna fishery is the world’s biggest tuna fishery, with total catches worth $5.5 billion in 2011.

“Management decisions are reached through a consensus-based system which is fraught with competing interests and values,” says Batty. “Such a system leads to gridlock and watered-down decisions that favour short-term economic interests at the expense of long-term productivity and sustainability.”

To address this problem the WCPFC organised a special two-day management workshop which aimed to identify desirable levels of tuna stocks and drive sustainable management decisions. SPC scientists have been providing advice on this process.

Batty explains that long-term objectives for the Pacific tuna fisheries needed to be based on economic outcomes such as revenue, employment and stable sources of fish for processing as well as environmental outcomes such as sustainability of fish stocks and reducing the by-catch and interaction with species such as sharks and turtles.

“These objectives will help us to identify desirable levels of tuna stocks and to drive sustainable management decisions,” he says.

SPC’s Dr Graham Pilling, believes management action needs to be based on a system of reference points. “The implementation of reference points and harvest control rules would allow fisheries managers to act swiftly and efficiently to ensure tuna stocks provide a sustainable and consistent supply of tuna to markets,” he says.

A limit reference point is the minimum stock size that can be allowed, or level of fishing effort that cannot be exceeded without putting the resource in danger. It is the danger signal that should be avoided.

A target reference point is the specific fishery stock size or level of fishing effort that ensures a fishery provides optimum benefits – ‘where we want to be’. The points are worked out by investigating biological, ecological, social and economic factors that affect a fishery.

A harvest control rule is the pre-agreed action to be taken by fisheries managers to achieve a target reference point. For example, “if the albacore fishery reaches 40% of its unfished state, then the level of fishing must be reduced by 20%”.

For more information:
The Secretariat of the Pacific Community: http://www.spc.int/en/
The Spatial Ecosystem and Population Dynamics Model (SEAPODYM) model: http://www.spc.int/OceanFish/en/ofpsection/ema/ecosystem-a-multispecies-modelling/seapodym/148-seapodym
Collecte Localisation Satellites, a subsidiary of CNES (French Space Agency) and IFREMER (French Research Institute for exploration of the sea): www.cls.fr/welcome_en.html

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On How Obama’s Supreme Court Choice Says Everything (Bad) About His Presidency

Nothing has epitomised the presidency of Barack Obama quite like his Supreme Court nominees. Time and again, Republican presidents will blithely nominate right wing ideological extremists (Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas) who only sometimes misfire and turn out to be liberals in disguise (David Souter). Yet Obama has consistently skipped over the judicially qualified liberals and gone for a succession of centrists... More>>

ALSO:

Turkey: UN Secretary-General On The Terrorist Bombing In Ankara

The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack in Ankara earlier today. According to the latest reports, the explosion in the Kizilay district killed and wounded dozens of people. More>>

ALSO:

Five Years On: Fukushima And New Zealand

Science Media Centre: It was the worst nuclear event since Chernobyl. In the wake of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, a crippled Japanese nuclear powerplant went into meltdown, and the world watched as emergency workers scrambled to shut down and contain the reactors. More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF: 1 In 3 Syrian Children Has Grown Up Knowing Only Crisis

An estimated 3.7 million Syrian children – 1 in 3 of all Syrian children - have been born since the conflict began five years ago, their lives shaped by violence, fear and displacement, according to a UNICEF report. This figure includes more than 151,000 children born as refugees since 2011. More>>

ALSO:

Franklin Lamb: Syria’s Truce Bodes Well For Salvaging Our Cultural Heritage

The tentative cessation of hostilities in Syria, which came into effect on 2/28/2016, brokered by Washington and Moscow, is only in its second week... It is well documented that there have been daily incidents of artillery shelling, airstrikes and clashes. Yet, for the nearly 12 million displaced civilians, half of Syria’s population, it’s a much welcomed respite. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Rubio’s Last Stand (And Sleater-Kinney)

Well, it certainly was entertaining to watch Rubio succeed in getting under Donald Trump’s skin the other day, in the last debate before tomorrow’s Super Tuesday multi-state sweepstakes... The real killer for Rubio was that the most recent poll from Florida which shows him losing his home state to Trump by a huge margin in the primary due on March 15. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news