Halting the decline in bigeye tuna stocks a priority for the Tuna commission

by Ronald Toito'ona | 6 December 2016 | News


REBUILDING the bigeye timeline is one of the Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission’s (WCPFCs) priorities in this week’s meetings, says the Chair Ms Rhea Moss-Christian.
She stated this, during a press conference with members of the Regional media on Sunday.
Bigeye tuna – one of the most highly prized commercial tunas in the Pacific – is down to just 16% of its original stocks, a cause for concern according to scientists from the Pacific Community.
The species is still being overfished despite its depleted numbers.
“The bigeye rebuilding timeline is something that nearly all Commission members have prioritised as something that needs to happen this year.
“We tend to agree on where we start and where we need to end up, but how we get there is always the subject of discussions, so that remains to be seen,” Ms Christian said.
“The timeline itself – there are options on the table and we have some advice from our scientific committee and we are devoting a lot of time [this] week to those discussions.
“The bigeye timeline will have to be translated into management actions, essentially. So theoretically, if members agree to a timeline, for bigeye and a target for bigeye to be rebuilt, then we would have to think about what kind of management actions would need to take place in order to meet those targets.
“It would include Fish Aggregating Device (FAD) management, it would include a number of other management actions as well,” the WCPFC Chair stated.