Pacific leaders urged to fight for fair share

February 25, 2024 1:01 pm

[File Photo]

Leaders in the region are being urged to advocate fiercely for fisheries owners, ensuring they receive maximum benefits from commercial companies fishing our waters.

Solomon Islands National University Vice-Chancellor Professor Transform Aqorau claims that the Pacific holds approximately 54 percent of the global fisheries industry, making it an attractive prospect for investors.

Speaking at a seminar at the Fiji National University in Nasinu, Professor Aqorau contends that governments are falling short in their efforts to secure equitable shares for their people from the fisheries sector.

Article continues after advertisement

Professor Aqorau asserts that governments are failing to make concerted efforts that truly serve the interests of the people.

“Government must recognised and must demand that we must be more than what we are getting from fisheries now if they did demand that than these are governments and the industry who operate in our waters will respect all of that but unless and until we demand. I know maybe some of my colleagues in the industry will have an alternative and different vie and I know they have been trying all these years.”

Professor Aqorau envisions a champion who will challenge the status quo.

“My dream and that is the challenge I pose to the younger generation and until when and who is going to stand up and coagulate support in the region to take that course and at the moment I do not see anyone in the region within our political leaders within our agencies who have that as their aspirations.”

Professor Aqorau believes that governments in the Pacific are hesitant to harness the immense power we possess over our resources.

He contends that leaders often discuss establishing our own industry but have yet to take decisive action to assert full control over our fisheries sector.