NADI, FIJI ISLANDS — Pacific nations are urging fishing powers to take the first step towards protecting albacore tuna at next week’s meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.

The Pacific Island Forum Fisheries nations want a target set for the albacore catch as a first step towards putting the fishery on an economically and environmentally sustainable footing

They are warning ‘very large reductions in catch and effort will be required’.

In the past decade there has been a big increase in Chinese boats operating with fuel subsidies that cannot be matched by Pacific countries. As a result Pacific boats have had to pull out of the fishery.

As a sign of just how serious they are Pacific nations have set up a new albacore-focussed grouping called the Tokelau arrangement.–ENDS