Showdown looms for lucrative Western Pacific tuna industry

The future of the world’s largest tuna fishery will be decided at a meeting in Australia this week, with Pacific island nations demanding tighter controls on a catch now worth US$7.0 billion a year. A record 2.65 million tonnes of tuna was hauled from the Pacific last year, accounting for 60 percent of the global catch, with most of the fishing conducted by so-called “distant water” fleets from as far afield as Europe, the United States, China, Korea and Taiwan. Island nations, many of which rely on tuna for a significant portion of their income, fear stocks are becoming unsustainable and want action at the December 2-6 meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) in Cairns. [email protected] 08:16