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PTF to develop strategies for tuna management

September 22, 2015 12:55 am

It is important that all Pacific Island countries along with distant water fishing nations agree to the adoption and implementation of sustainable fishing methods says Fiji’s Fisheries Minister Osea Naiqamu.

Speaking at the opening of the 5th Pacific Tuna Forum in Nadi this morning, Naiqamu urged the delegates to ensure a positive outcome from the Western and Central Pacific’s biggest gathering of tuna and fisheries experts.

Elenoa Turagainaviu reports

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“Tuna is a very important resource in the region and with big eyed tuna now overfished and yellow fin tuna under threat, there is hope that the Pacific Tuna Forum will come up with appropriate strategies and directions that can lead towards addressing the issue.”

“Speaking to more than 200 delegates of the Forum this morning, Naiqamu says a recent World Bank study estimates that the catch and value of tuna in our region at $2.4 billion – but exactly what portion of this value is realized within our region is not known.”

“Naiqamu says with the world tuna fishing industry facing challenges such lower catch rates, higher access fees and selling catches at depressed world prices – it may be time for a restructure of the whole industry or to reduce the number of distant water fishing nation’s vessels that fish in our region.”

“Meanwhile, PNG’s Fisheries Minister Mao Zeming says Pacific island countries have been successful in managing our tuna resources in comparison to other oceans in the world.”

“Almost 50 per cent of World tuna catches are taken within the Western and Central Pacific region, and most of these occur within the EEZ of Pacific island countries.”

“Zeming says while there are concerns with a number of tuna stocks, like big eye – the Pacific island countries will continue to lead and call for the development of appropriate management measures to deal with these concerns.”

“He says we also need to strengthen the monitoring and surveillance programmes in the region to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.”

“The two day forum is being held at Sofitel, Denarau and has participants from Brazil, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Philippines, Singapore, New Zealand, PNG, USA, UAE, UK, Thailand, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Malaysia, Marshall islands, Kiribati, Australia, Canada and Fiji.”

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