Pacific nations, environmentalists alarmed by tuna overfishing

Pacific island governments and environmentalists are raising an alarm over destructive fishing methods and overfishing that are threatening the bigeye tuna — a fish popular among sushi lovers the world over.

Palau fisheries official Nanette Malsol, who leads a delegation from a bloc of Pacific island nations, said Sunday at the start of a weeklong tuna fisheries conference in Manila that large countries should cut back on fishing, curb the use of destructive fishing methods and respect fishing bans to allow tuna stocks to be replenished in the Pacific Ocean, the world's largest tuna fishing grounds.

Malsol said small island nations like Palau have launched conservation efforts, but many foreign industrial fishing fleets have tried to skirt restrictions and continued to catch tuna beyond sustainable levels.