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Seafood Industry Welcomes Tribunal Tuna Decision

Published: Mon 30 Aug 1999 03:50 PM
NZ SEAFOOD INDUSTRY COUNCIL WELCOMES LAW OF THE SEA TRIBUNAL DECISION ON TUNA
The New Zealand Seafood Industry Council General Manager Trade and Information Alastair Macfarlane said today that the Council was delighted with the decision by the Law of Sea International Tribunal to order the Japanese to abide by agreed catch quotas for Southern Blue Fin Tuna agreed by the commission for the Conservation of and Management of Southern Blue Fin Tuna (CCSBT).
New Zealand and Australia objected to Japan catching more than its 6065 tonnes quota under the guise of “experimental fishing.” New Zealand is allowed to catch 420 tonnes and Australia over 5000 tonnes. The fishery is worth about $10 million to New Zealand.
“Now that the Tribunal has reached an interim decision,we are hoping that Japan, NZ and Australia will sort this issue out quickly so that the spotlight can be focused on the uncontrolled fishing activities of other nations who are also catching Southern BluefinTuna. The Tribunal has given the three countries until October 6 to reach a solution and we are hopeful that all parties can come to an agreement before that date,” he said.
“The dispute between the 3 parties, who currently make up the CCSBT has stymied efforts to find a way to bring Indonesia, Korea and Taiwan into the Agreement. As a result several thousand tonnes of Southern Bluefin Tuna are being caught annually without coming under control of the agreement. That will undoubtedly jeopardise the long term sustainability of this fishery.”

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