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Govt must show leadership at global tuna forum

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 23 Jan 2007

Senator Rachel Siewert today renewed her call for the Federal Government to take a strong stance at this week's meeting of the joint tuna regional fisheries management organisations meeting in Kobe, Japan.

"Global and regional tuna stocks are under serious threat," said Senator Siewert.

"We urgently need to see better management in our regional tuna fisheries, that reduces by-catch and enforces precautionary catch limits to ensure the recovery and long-term survival of the species," said Senator Siewert.

"The Australian delegation must advocate strongly for an ecosystem management based approach to ensure the sustainability of the fishery. This needs to be backed-up by a system of monitoring and surveillance that uses independent observers to ensure catch limits are adhered to," she said.

"We don't want to see a repeat of the situation last year, where it was revealed that $2 billion of illegally caught tuna found its way to the Japanese markets."

"This both threatens the viability of southern bluefin tuna populations and undermines the Australian fishing industry," said Senator Siewert.

"Fisheries around the world are crashing as a result of overfishing. We need to make sure that we take a precautionary management approach to ensure our fisheries don't suffer the same fate," she said.

"Australia must also reduce our tuna quota because the scientific evidence shows that our current fishing levels are not sustainable," said Senator Siewert.

"I've moved a motion in the Senate to disallow the latest national catch allocation, which will be debated when Parliament resumes in February," she concluded.

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