The measure would have set a reference point, or agreed level of fishing for skipjack tuna, the most common tuna used primarily in canned tuna.
PNA manages the world’s largest healthy stock of skipjack tuna, providing 50% of the world’s supply.
PNA chief executive Dr Transform Aqorau said the proposal would have set fishing effort of skipjack tuna to sustainable levels and protected tuna stocks which was one reason the WCPFC was formed.
“Instead Japan proposes to cut down fishing for half of the foreign purse seine vessels fishing in the Small Islands Developing States and this would include all the Japanese purse seine fleet,” Aqorau said.
“Their argument that this is a good enough tradeoff between the economic impacts on SIDS and the impacts of their domestic communities is wrong and contradicts the convention and their alternative proposal fails article 30 of the WCPFC convention.”
Aqorau said the PNA still felt the measure was solid and would have benefitted the commission.
On the floor of the WCPFC, PNA expressed disappointment while addressing the commission in a closing statement on their proposal which had the approval of most members except Japan.
It said despite understanding Japan’s concern for the decline in its coastal fisheries, they would have greatly strengthened the WCPFC management of skipjack tuna and related fisheries if they had agreed to the proposal on skipjack tuna.