Southern Bluefin Tuna talks close with no progress on seabird bycatch
Humane Society International (HSI) has today expressed its significant disappointment following the close of this week’s meeting of the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT). Held over the past four days in Auckland, New Zealand, a critical aspect of this year’s talks was the desire by Australia to put in place effective management measures to prevent the thousands of deaths of seabirds that occur each year in Southern Bluefin Tuna longline fisheries. This is an issue that HSI has actively pursued for a number of years.
“The lack of progress at this week’s meeting to prevent the unnecessary death of thousands of seabirds is extremely disappointing,” said HSI’s Alexia Wellbelove. “The continuing efforts by two nations at CCSBT to delay taking action to reduce the deaths of threatened albatross and other seabird species is simply unacceptable.”
“At this meeting CCSBT has confirmed the increase in quota for the next three years. With another seabird killed on average for every two tonnes increase in the longline quota for Southern Bluefin Tuna, it is clear that even more seabirds will die in the next three years.”
“This problem cannot continue to be put off forever if nations wish to say that they are acting responsibly and in good faith. Nations cannot simply pass this issue off to other fishery management organisations and should instead be taking action directly within CCSBT, because this is a problem for CCSBT not other fishery management organisations. The time for excuses is long over, if other fishery management organisations can reduce seabird bycatch so can CCSBT,” concluded Ms Wellbelove.
An HSI representative once again attended the talks in Auckland this year. HSI has consistently called for urgent action to be taken by all member nations of CCSBT to reduce the impacts of Southern Bluefin Tuna fishing on seabirds, sharks, turtles and other species.