Climate change the most critical issue facing Pacific fisheries

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FFA members are seeking to advance a new regional longline strategy a this week’s Forum Fisheries Committee meeting (Photo: Francisco Blaha, Note: Photo serves an illustrative purpose and was not taken in the context of IUU fishing)

POHNPEI, 4 May 2019 — “The sustainable management of our offshore tuna resources must deliver stronger economic and social benefits to our island communities.” 

This is the key message from Forum Fisheries Agency Director-General Dr Manu Tupou-Roosen as regional fisheries officials meet in Pohnpei for the Forum Fisheries Committee this week.

“Our offshore tuna fisheries in the Pacific are among the most sustainably managed of all global fisheries. The fisheries deliverhigh value to our Island Countries through zone-based management based on clear definition of the rights of FFA members to fisheries resources within our EEZs and on the high seas.” 

Dr Tupou-Roosen noted that Pacific leaders have identified climate change as the most critical issue facing the region.

“This is a complex issue and we need to identify targeted actions within the context of our tuna fisheries work, including through more effective collaboration with our regional partners and at the international level. “

Dr Tupou-Roosen anticipates that that FFA Members will seek to advance the core elements of a new Regional Longline Strategy.

This comes on the back of rising concerns that some longline fleets are avoiding licensing conditions by fishing and transshipping catch only on the high-seas with little monitoring of catch and effort and no effective contribution to island revenues.

“We need collectively to create the conditions for enhanced member benefits and member participation in the longline fishery, noting that differing components of the Strategy will reflect the diversity of membership interests” said Dr Tupou-Roosen.

A further priority will be to agree priorities to enhance advocacy in the lead-up to the year-end Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission annual meeting in Port Moresby in December.  Advancing the FFA’s steady push towards the implementation of a harvest strategy approach to fisheries management will feature heavily in these discussions.

“In celebrating our 40th year of operation we still face some big challenges” said Dr Tupou-Roosen “but we retain a strong commitment to meeting these through the strength of our commitment to regional cooperation in the offshore fisheries sector.”

##ENDS##

For more information and photos contact:

Donna Hoerder, FFA Media, +691 920 5332  donna.hoerder@ffa.int

About Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA)FFA assists its 17-member countries to sustainably manage fishery resources that fall within their 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs). FFA provides expertise, technical assistance and other support to its members who make sovereign decisions about their tuna resources and participate in regional decision making on tuna management. www.ffa.int

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