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

 


Lack of Access to Data Frustrates Scientists

Lack of Access to Data Frustrates Scientists


A meeting of over 20 stock assessment scientists from the Asia–Pacific region last week heard that the scientific assessment of tunas in the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) continues to be hampered by some fishing states not making data available to scientists. Dr Shelton Harley, head of the Stock Assessment and Modelling team within the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Oceanic Fisheries Programme noted that ‘the most frustrating aspect is that the data have been collected and are just sitting on computers in countries and not contributing to the efforts to determine the health and safe harvest levels for the largest tuna resource in the world.’

The purpose of the annual meeting, hosted by SPC, is to review progress in assessing the status of bigeye, skipjack, and yellowfin tunas in the WCPO. This year is critical as it will be the first time in three years that these tunas are being assessed and also the first assessment for bigeye tuna since the independent review of the previous assessment conducted in 2012. Bigeye tuna is the species whose health has been of most concern in recent years, with rising catches associated with purse-seine fishing around fish aggregating devices.

The independent review – funded by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) – stressed the importance of scientists having access to detailed operational-level data from the fisheries, but despite this, there has been very little movement from those fishing states that hold the data. In early 2014 three scientists from Taiwan came to SPC headquarters in New Caledonia and brought these important data on Taiwanese fishing with them. Some very useful analyses were conducted, but after two weeks the scientists went home and took the data with them. While this was a useful first step, it means that follow-up analyses that might be required as the assessments develop and as other data are received cannot be undertaken. Nevertheless, Dr Harley expressed appreciation to the Taiwan fisheries administration for this useful first step, and encouraged other major fishing countries to support the stock assessments by allowing scientists access to these data.

On a more positive note, Dr Harley noted that the upcoming assessments would be drawing heavily on the results from the Pacific Tuna Tagging Programme (www.spc.int/tagging). Almost 400,000 tunas have been tagged since 2006, with over 70,000 fish recaptured. This programme will be important in better understanding the rate of fishing and the connectivity of tuna across the WCPO.

The completed stock assessments will be presented to the 10th Regular Session of the WCPFC Scientific Committee when it meets in Majuro, Marshall Island in August 2014.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN Health Agency Responds To Ebola Spike

UN health agency responds to Ebola spike by deploying team on border of Guinea and Guinea-Bissau More>>

UN Casts Israel As World's Worst Violator Of Health Rights

Israel's army team of medics recently treated 1,600 victims of the Nepal earthquake. More>>

W Thousands Flee Syria’s Besieged Historic City Of Palmyra

As thousands flee Syria’s besieged historic city of Palmyra, UN refugee agency readies response plan More>>

UN Agency To Halt Housing Allowance For Palestine Refugees

Lack of funds forces UNRWA to suspend cash assistance for housing for Palestinian refugees from Syria in Lebanon. Photo: UNRWA/Shafiq Fahed More>>


Bangkok: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphophia

BMA, UN, embassy representatives, civil society and artists stand united with LGBTI Thais on International Day against Transphobia, Homophobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT) at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre More>>

Displaced Iraqis Face Difficulties As Fighting Continues

UNHCR is concerned about the processing arrangements in place at the Bzabz bridge – a series of pontoons across the Euphrates River which marks the boundary between Anbar province and the capital, Baghdad. Photo: UNHCR/G. Ohara More>>

UNESCO Chief Condemns Killing Of Bangladeshi Blogger

Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz The head of the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom worldwide today voiced ... More>>

Philadelphia: Train Crash

Five people have been confirmed dead and more than 136 people injured after an Amtrak train crashed in Philadelphia today at 9.20pm local time.More>>

UN News: Alarming Surge In Bay Of Bengal Crossings

The number of irregular migrants crossing the Bay of Bengal has almost doubled over the past year amid a dangerous uptick in human smuggling and trafficking across the region, according to a new report from the United Nations refugee agency. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news