People, Environment

Pacific Countries Failing to Protect Tuna

Pacific Countries Failing to Protect TunaPacific Countries Failing to Protect Tuna

Pacific island states and countries failed on Friday to strike a deal to protect shrinking supplies of tuna and adopt cutbacks following a regional conference, sparking condemnation from conservationists. Pacific Ocean is the world’s largest tuna fishing ground, accounting for almost 60% of the global catch. But supplies are dwindling and urgent action is needed to ensure populations remain viable. The participants could not reach an agreement on proposed regulation at the Northern Committee of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission annual conference, AFP reported. The participants, which include Japan, China, the US, Fiji, Vanuatu, Canada, South Korea, the Philippines, the Cook islands and Taiwan, agreed to the conference in the Japanese city of Fukuoka after sharp declines in bluefin tuna brood stock last year. Japan, which consumes roughly 70% of the global bluefin tuna haul, has suggested introducing cutbacks if stocks drop for three consecutive years. But the proposal was opposed by other participants at the meeting that want tougher measures to protect the species. Environmental group Greenpeace called the stalemate “extremely regrettable”. Conservation group WWF has recommended the 10 countries introduce a catch limit and adopt a long-term bluefin tuna recovery plan.