The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission vetoed a Japanese proposal Thursday to cut Taiwan's annual tuna fishing quota in the Central and Western Pacific Ocean, fishery sources said. After successfully pushing the International Commission of the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna in mid-November to drastically slash Taiwan's bigeye tuna fishing quota for 2006, Japan proposed a similar cut into Taiwan's 2006 tuna fishing quota in the Central and Western Pacific at the ongoing WCPFC annual meeting in Micronesia Thursday.
"The Japanese proposal was vetoed after our delegates convincingly explained our fishing operations in the region at the WCPFC session, " said Wang Shun-lung, president of the Taiwan Tuna Association.
According to a survey conducted in 2000, Taiwan had only seven or eight tuna fishing vessels operated in the Western and Central Pacific that year, with a total catch of slightly more than 1,100 tons. The quantity was far less than that taken by American, Japanese and South Korean fishing vessels during the same period.
"Against this backdrop, our delegates stressed that it would be unfair and unreasonable to trim Taiwan's tuna fishing quota in the region, " Wang said, adding that the delegates also took the opportunity to brief other WCPFC member states on Taiwan's fishery resources conservation policies and measures.