Stronger economic and social benefits a must
Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia – May 7, 2019: 11.15am (Nuku’alofa Times): Stronger economic and social benefits for the island communities must be the focus of the offshore tuna resources in the region, Forum Fisheries Agency Director General Dr Many Tupou-Roosen said this week.
“The sustainable management of our offshore tuna resources must deliver stronger economic and social benefits to our island communities,” Dr Tupou-Roosen said in Pohnpei.
Regional fisheries officials meet in Pohnpei for the Forum Fisheries Committee this week.
“Our offshore tuna fisheries in the Pacific are amongst the most sustainably managed of all global fisheries. The fisheries deliver high value to our Island Countries through zone-based management based onclear definition of the rights of FFA members to fisheries resources within our EEZs and on the high seas.”
Dr Tupou-Roosen noted that Leaders have identified climate change as the most critical issue facing the region.
“This is a complex issue and we need to identify targeted actions within the context of our tuna fisheries work, including through more effective collaboration with our regional partners and at the international level,” she said.
Dr Tupou-Roosen anticipated that that FFA Members will seek to advance the core elements of a new Regional Longline Strategy.
This comes on the back of rising concerns that some Longline fleets are avoiding licensing conditions by fishing and transhipping catch only on the high-seas with little monitoring of catch and effort and no effective contribution to island revenues.
“We need collectively to create the conditions for enhanced member benefits and member participation in the longline fishery, noting that differing components of the Strategy will reflect the diversity of membership interests,” Dr Tupou-Roosen said.
A further priority would be to agree priorities to enhance advocacy in the lead-up to the year-end Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission annual meeting in Port Moresby in December.
Advancing the FFA’s steady push towards the implementation of a harvest strategy approach to fisheries management will feature heavily in these discussions.
“In celebrating our 40th year of operation we still face some big challenges,”Dr Tupou-Roosen said “but we retain a strong commitment to meeting these through the strength of our commitment to regional cooperation in the offshore fisheries sector.”
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