Tuna initiative to address overfishing concerns

March 25, 2024 12:46 pm

The Permanent Secretary for Environment Dr Sivendra Michael has raised concerns on the prevailing management decisions regarding overfishing, suggesting they may prioritize short-term financial gains over sustainable practices.

Launching the ‘Implementing and Scaling Jurisdictional Initiatives for Pacific Tuna: Phase 2’ meeting in Suva this morning, Dr Michael has emphasized the imperative to overhaul policies governing fisheries and tuna exploitation to ensure the sustainable management of oceanic resources.

This initiative, he stressed places community welfare at its core, advocating for long-term sustainability within the sector.

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“The Jurisdictional Approach to Tuna project is a place-based initiative applied in commodity producing regions to drive sustainability through applied incentives among government, market, amongst key stakeholders, such as producers, government, civil societies, and supply chain companies.”

Dr Michael also underlines the necessity of adopting a holistic approach to enhance the Pacific fisheries market, including in Fiji.

Highlighting the socio-economic significance of the fisheries industry, Dr. Michael cited a report by Pew Charitable Trusts revealing that it provides employment opportunities for over 20,000 individuals.

“This initiative drives holistic environmental, social, and economic fishery improvements through policy and market-based approaches that align incentives between key public and private-sector stakeholders, using a human rights-based approach to fisheries governance of the domestic tuna longline fisheries.”

The launch of this initiative signals a concerted effort to address the pressing challenges confronting Pacific tuna stocks and the urgent need for action to safeguard marine ecosystems for future generations.