By RONALD TOITO’ONA, Pacificmedia@WCPFC13
DENARAU, FIJI– The week-long 13th Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) in Denarau Island, Fiji held negotiating sessions far into the night but still did not make progress on some of its most important issues.
The commission had 5 days for more than 40 governments to reach agreement on hundreds of differences of opinion.
“The time constraint is a big challenge,” WCPFC Executive Director, Mr Feleti P Teo said.
However, he said the Commission is committed to deal with the issues after the 13th Commission before the next one in Manila, Philippines next year.
“I am a strong advocate of the belief that the Commission work needs not be limited to this week It needs to continue, the conversation needs to continue well in advance of the next Commission.
“The chair is committed to doing that, to continue that conversation next week and up to the next Commission.
“Because there’s so much at stake, so big a constituency that you need to be able to get a good sense of where their interests are, rather than do it in the one week of the Commission meetings,” he added.
The WCPFC is responsible for the conservation and management of tuna and other marine resources in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean.
The members of the WCPFC are:
Australia, Canada, China, Cook Islands, European Community, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, France, Indonesia, Japan, Kiribati, Korea, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Chinese Taipei, Tonga, Tuvalu, United States of America, and Vanuatu.–ENDS