New Zealand calls for urgent action over southern bluefin tuna
New Zealand has called for urgent action over the state of the world’s southern bluefin tuna stocks.
New Zealand’s Commissioner at the Commission for the Conservation for Southern Bluefin Tuna, Stan Crothers, said immediate cuts to world catch must be made for the fishery to remain sustainable.
Mr Crothers was speaking at the opening of the thirteenth meeting of the Commission in Miyayaki, Japan.
“The Commission’s Scientific Committee has recommended immediate reductions in global catch of southern bluefin tuna,” said Mr Crothers. “That advice is unequivocal. To hide behind uncertainties in that science is not a valid excuse to delay taking firm and effective management action. If we wait, it will be too late.
“New Zealand will not stand for anything less than sound and sustainable fisheries management. We want to see immediate and effective management action in the southern bluefin tuna fishery.”
Mr Crothers said the survival of the fish stock depended on governments being held accountable for the actions of their fleets.
“We must also set catch limits that are clearly in line with good science, and we must improve our monitoring and reporting systems – otherwise we are just driving blind,” said Mr Crothers.
“In addition, we must have an allocation regime based on recognised rights in the fishstocks agreement.”
He said that New Zealand is one of the last places southern bluefin tuna visit on their annual migration, and the depleted state of this fish stock has been keenly felt by our fleet.
“If we don’t all work together to rebuild this fish-stock, there will be no fish left for anyone,” said Mr Crothers.