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Eastern Pacific tuna hang in the balance
Date:10/30/2008

ty of fish populations and the marine environment, conservation organizations, scientific and educational institutions, and other individuals and groups representing the public interest must play a role in international management forums. Likewise, tuna buyers, processors, retailers and consumers can positively influence the management process by rewarding those that provide sustainably caught seafood with their business.

"The IATTC historically conserved tuna and other marine life but that took dedication, diligence and collaboration on the part of its members, which has been missing in recent years," said Bill Fox, PhD, World Wildlife Fund vice president of fisheries. "Perhaps, it will take new management ideas and methods, like transferable catch shares, or pressure from the global tuna industry to recapture the necessary conservation spirit."

Scott Henderson, Conservation International's regional marine conservation director said that, "Less than one percent of the Eastern Pacific Ocean has been designated as Marine Protected Areas, which take on even greater importance as fish stocks decline to ensure that at least a few areas exist to allow fisheries to recover and to protect special, unique marine ecosystems. An important step in this direction would be for the IATTC to establish mechanisms to sanction member states that fail to respect protected area boundaries."

"An immediate and substantive reduction in commercial fishing capacity and effort is required," said Humane Society International's vice president Kitty Block. "Not enacting meaningful and enforceable conservation measures will devastate this important fishery and ecosystem."

The eyes of the world will be on the IATTC next week and especially on those nations that have been least willing to compromise. The future of Pacific tuna populations hinges on the ability and willingness of member nations to heed the advice of scientists, engage a wider range of interest g
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Contact: Scott Henderson
shenderson@conservation.org
703-717-2750
Conservation International
Source:Eurekalert

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