Publication Details

Hanich, Q. and Sant, G. (2012). What a tangled net: unravelling the international complications of tuna conservation. The Conversation, (01 April),

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The Conversation


The eighth meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission concluded in Guam on Friday 30 March 2012. Five hundred delegates from more than 40 countries argued for a week about how to reduce overfishing in the Western and Central Pacific tuna fisheries and sustainably manage the world’s largest tuna fisheries.

Scientific assessments clearly recommend urgent action to address overfishing and reduce fishing mortality for bigeye tuna, halt any increases in fishing mortality for yellowfin and probably albacore, reduce fishing mortality of juvenile bigeye and yellowfin, and develop precautionary limits for skipjack. If these actions are not taken the stocks of these species will see further declines for some stocks and potentially see overfishing start to occur for others.

But despite clear advice from the Commission’s scientific committee that further measures were required to address overfishing of bigeye tuna, the Commission couldn’t agree how members should distribute the “burden of conservation”.