A second drowning death of a fisherman off Tongatapu was reported by the Tonga Police this afternoon. The body of a 22 year old fisherman from Patangata was found on the reef today by other fishermen returning from Pangaimotu Island.
The Pacific Ocean faces threats from over-fishing, pollution and climate change. Annually more than 786,000 tonnes of fish are illegally taken from the Pacific and its tuna fisheries are in danger of being over exploited. “The Pacific Ocean unites all the countries in the region,” said Marea Hatziolos, Senior Coastal and Marine Specialist for the World Bank. “Tremendous progress has been achieved regionally in fisheries agreements and conservation, but the battle is not yet won. This is a timely focus, at a critical juncture for Pacific Island populations.”
The Pacific Islands Tuna Association (PITIA), in expressing serious concern over the rapid buildup of the Southern Long Line fleet, is reiterating the unease being felt by its members.