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Minister Tuckey welcomes agreement on new scientific research program for Southern Blue Fin Tuna.

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Media Releases The Hon Wilson Tuckey MP Minister for Forestry and Conservation

AFFA01/32TU 18 April 2001

MINISTER TUCKEY WELCOMES AGREEMENT ON NEW SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH PROGRAM FOR SOUTHERN BLUE FIN TUNA An agreement today to an international Scientific Research Program (SRP) for Southern Bluefin Tuna (SBT) over the next two years represents a major step forward for the long-term management of the SBT stock, the Minister for Forestry and Conservation, Wilson Tuckey, said.

Minister Tuckey was responding to criticisms by some lobby groups over the adoption by the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT) of a Scientific Research Program that will provide essential information to underpin the conservation and management of SBT.

"Claims that this program could jeopardise the sustainability of the global SBT stock are alarmist and unfounded," Mr Tuckey said.

"We need to recognise that Australia is only one of many countries that have a legitimate interest in the conservation and management of the SBT stock and international cooperation is essential in achieving these objectives."

Scientific Research on migratory species is difficult and the CCSBT members agreed to engage five eminent fisheries scientists to assist in developing the SRP. These external scientists have been able to bring a wealth of international tuna management experience to the CCSBT.

"The CCSBT SRP is of an entirely different character to the unilateral experimental fishing program (EFP) undertaken by Japan in recent years," said the Minister.’

Under the agreed program, four key components have been identified as areas where improved scientific knowledge would remove much of the current uncertainties around stock assessments for this species and will contribute to better long-term management of the SBT resource.

These components are:

improved characterisation and quantification of the overall catch of SBT; ● development and acceptance of improved assessment methods to underpin the SBT stock assessment; ●

implementation of a well-designed SBT tagging program; and ● implementation of a more complete scientific observer program. ●

Minister Tuckey said that this research would provide an objective basis for setting future catch levels.

Further inquiries:

Mr Tuckey's office: Graeme Hallett 0419 688 440

The Hon Wilson Tuckey MP | Media Releases | Speeches

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