Republished from Radio New Zealand, 12 December 2017

The Pacific environmental agency SPREP says it’s happy with the progress made on conservation issues at the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission meeting in The Philippines last week.

69760535 - scenery of the fishing port

Scenery of the fishing port Photo: mtaira/123RF

Measures approved by the commission included prohibiting the dumping of plastic from fishing vessels and moves to protect threatened species, namely seabirds, turtles and sharks.

SPREP’s threatened species advisor, Mike Donoghue, says they are substantive gains for conservation in the Pacific.

“We’re very pleased that we now have an opportunity to hold vessels and their skippers more accountable. We will be very pleased to work with Pacific island countries to and other interested parties to develop and deliver training modules so that crews understand that what used to be accepted practice in years gone by, just isn’t acceptable anymore, ” said Mike Donoghue.