As world leaders gather at COP25 in Spain for the latest round of climate change negotiations, fisheries leaders in the Pacific are voicing their concern that higher global temperatures will deprive the region of its lucrative tuna income.
Up to US$6 billion worth of tuna was caught in the Western and Central Pacific in 2018 but scientists warn that rising global temperatures will see tuna out move of the waters belong to many Pacific countries by 2050.
Dr Graham Pilling from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community said scientific modelling shows tuna moving eastwards, as a result of warmer temperatures.
“With most EEZ (exclusive economic zones) clustered in the west, as fish move east under climate change, they’ll move out onto high seas,” Dr Pilling said.
Fisheries leaders and experts are meeting in Papua New Guinea at the Western and Central Pacific Commission, where climate change has taken centre stage.
Dr Pilling said countries like Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands would see a reduction of tuna stocks in their waters while Tuvalu would initially benefit.
“In the long term however as surface tuna moves to the east, the main fishing areas are expected to move out of our EEZ,” Tuvalu’s Foreign Minister Minute Alapati Taupo said.
Tuvalu’s Fisheries Minister said leaders should also consider the impact of rising seas levels on national boundaries, with some countries losing land.
“We suggest that the current arrangements are changed to prevent this injustice…this would of course mean that the boundaries of our EEZ are locked in and not changed as a result of climate change,” said Mr Taupo.
The Director General of Forum Fisheries Agency, Dr Manu Tupou-Roosen, said the concerns raised by Tuvalu are part of the work her organisation and regional agencies are working on.
This story was produced in collaboration with reporter Bernadette Carreon.
Pacific fisheries officials are calling on the members of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) to band together and commit to a climate action plan during the commission’s 16th annual meeting.
Any plan needs to take into account the impact of climate change on fish stocks.
In a statement ahead of the week-long Tuna Commission meeting here in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, the 17-member Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) is “therefore calling on the WCPFC to collectively take stronger action on climate change”.
FFA introduced a resolution at the WCPFC urging the commission to:
Fully recognise the impacts of climate change, in particular on the fisheries, food security and livelihoods of small island developing states (SIDS) and territories.
Take into account in its deliberations, including in the development of conservation and management measures, the impacts of climate change on target stocks, non-target species, and species belonging to the same ecosystem or dependent on or associated with the target stocks.
Estimate the carbon footprint of fishing and related activities in the Convention Area for fish stocks managed by the Commission, and develop appropriate measures to reduce such footprint.
Develop options such as carbon offsets to decrease the collective carbon footprint of CCMs and the WCPFC Secretariat associated with meetings of the Commission and its subsidiary bodies.
Tuvalu Minister of Fisheries and Trade Mr Minute Alapati Taupo told Pacific journalists that although climate change was not a problem that his nation had caused, the impacts of climate change would fall on the Pacific, and would threaten the benefits of the region’s tuna fisheries.
“Climate change is not a problem that Tuvalu has caused – but we are going to suffer the effects,” Mr Taupo said.
Pacific Community (SPC) fisheries scientist Dr Graham Pilling said climate modelling shows that, as the climate warms, tuna will move to the east and while some Pacific island nations may benefit from the movement, the others will see a reduction in the fish.
He said it further indicates that fish “will move to the high seas and the overall amount of fish will reduce”.
Dr Pilling said that the major impacts of climate change “are predicted to occur after 2050, with some signs before that time”.
FFA Director-General Dr Manu Tupou-Roosen said climate change is an important issue that the Pacific islands face at the moment and into the future.
“Climate change is the defining challenge of our generation and the impact on Pacific Island countries is particularly threatening, given that tuna fisheries provide significant economic, social and cultural benefits,” Dr Tupou-Roosen said in a statement flagging FFA’s concerns before WCPFC16.
Tuna fishing brings in multiple billions of dollars in revenue for the Pacific island nations. According to the SPC policy brief, tuna caught in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) averaged 2.7 million tonnes a year between 2014 and 2018, with harvests from the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of the Pacific nations representing 58% of this catch.
According to FFA, in 2018 the value of the provisional total tuna catch was US$6.01 billion (AU$8.92 billion, €5.41 billion), which was marginally higher than for 2017 and the highest since 2013.
Inside the 16th Tuna Commission meeting in Port Moresby. Photo: F. Tauafialfi.
Midway state of play on eight Pacific priorities as provided by the FFA Secretariat
Climate change resolution: Niue and Tuvalu minister’ say
High-seas allocation a priority, and links to the tropical tuna measure
A strong stance on action on climate change remains at the top of FFA’s agenda half way through the 16th Tuna Commission meeting. The other top priority is on allocations of access to high-seas tuna.
At the midway point of the meeting in Papua New Guinea, Pacific members are generally pleased with progress made on their priority issues. But there is still a long way to go when the Commission negotiations reconvene tomorrow.
The reality is that the WCPFC is always a complex negotiation with several different proposals being negotiated at the same time according to FFA Deputy Director-General Mr Matthew Hooper.
“Often there are trade-offs to be made, with countries willing to compromise on certain things if they get what they want in other parts of the negotiation. For this reason, it can be hard to predict how things are going to end up at the end of the meeting,” Mr Hooper said.
FFA members are pushing hard for agreement on the Resolution on Climate Change they put forward at the start of the meeting. While some of the elements of the proposed resolution will likely change, FFA is hopeful that a resolution will be passed that will start the Tuna Commission off on making concrete efforts to respond to the impacts of climate change. (See below for more detail.)
High-seas limits and allocation
There is general agreement to the proposal from FFA members for the WCPFC to hold a two-day workshop to discuss high-seas limits and a framework for allocating those limits. The terms of reference for this workshop still have to be discussed, but FFA is hopeful that agreement will be reached so that the Tuna Commission can tackle this difficult issue in 2020. (See below for more detail.)
Revision of skipjack target reference point still to be agreed
Discussions on the target reference point (TRP) for skipjack tuna are proving difficult. While most WCPFC members support FFA members’ call for the TRP to be adjusted to reflect the new scientific model that was used for the latest stock assessment, not all members are ready to agree to this yet. This is another issue that is not likely to be resolved till later in the meeting.
The Transhipment Intersessional Working Group, co-chaired by RMI and USA, has made some good progress. A study that will get under way early next year will identify weaknesses in the existing measure.
Mobulid rays CMM
FFA members proposed draft conservation and management measure (CMM) for mobulid rays (such as manta rays) has been well received and Palau is coordinating comments from other members. A revised version of the measure will likely be posted on Monday morning for a further round of comments from other members.
Compliance Monitoring Scheme
FFA members’ proposal to reform the WCPFC Compliance Monitoring Scheme is being discussed in a small working group. Even more intensive discussions are progressing in the margins of that meeting.
This will be one of the hardest issues to reach agreement on, given the different approaches taken by some WCPFC members. However, FFA is encouraged by the delegates’ willingness to work together to try and achieve a compromise that focuses compliance monitoring on the implementation of measures by members, rather than delving into the detail of individual cases involving fishing vessels that are the better dealt with through other mechanisms.
South Pacific albacore
FFA members have taken the lead in reinvigorating discussions on the South Pacific Albacore Roadmap, with a focus on moving the stock towards the TRP agreed in Honolulu last December. And putting in place a new measure that recognizes the EEZ limits of FFA members, and also puts limits on fishing in the high seas.
A small working group, led by Fiji, will meet on Monday morning to start informal discussions.
Discussions on the harvest-strategy approach to fisheries management have been a big feature of WCPFC16. The approach is complex and very science-focused.
While FFA members support the approach, the organisation has identified a clear need for further capacity building of members so that everyone understands the implications of the decisions that are required to move this work forward. It has been clear that many other WCPFC members are also struggling to understand the complexities of the harvest strategy, and so this work will continue but at a slower and more deliberate pace.
Climate change resolution: Niue and Tuvalu ministers’ say
Top of the list is the Pacific call to adopt the Climate Change resolution. Pacific countries and delegations with ministerial representations have been active in garnering support for the proposal.
The chair of the Forum Fisheries Committee, Mr Eugene Pangelinan, said, “FFA members call on the WCPFC, as a collective body made up of all its member countries, to take stronger action on climate change and we look forward to discussing our proposals further with members at this meeting.”
It is a conversation that is relevant for all members, he added, “This is not just a Pacific issue necessarily: it is a fishing issue that we are all a part of and we have to do our parts together.”
Niue’s Associate Minister for Natural Resources, Hon. Esa Sharon-Mona Ainuu, called on the Commission to adopt the FFA resolution during her formal address at the first session of the meeting.
“Climate change is an existential threat to our region, and directly threatens our livelihoods, security and wellbeing,” she said.
Tuvalu’s minister for Fisheries and Trade, Hon. Minute Taupo, emphasised at a press conference, “Climate change is not a problem that Tuvalu has caused – but we are going to suffer its effects. We suggest that the current global arrangements are changed to prevent this injustice.”
The climate-change resolution is not binding. Its main purpose is to provide an entry point into the Commission space to allow formal discussions to take place, as FFA Director-General Dr Manu Tupou-Roosen explained.
“It will serve to focus attention on this important area whilst we refine the specific actions that can be taken by this Commission – then we can collectively begin work on binding measures,” she said.
High-seas allocation a priority and links to tropical tuna measure
According to FFC Chair Mr Eugene Pangelinan, Pacific leaders have pronounced zone-based management as their mainstream fisheries-management program to rights within Pacific waters.
“Therefore, we already have well established zone-based limits within the EEZs that have been recognised by the Commission,” Mr Pangelinan said.
The conversation FFA members are looking to have on “allocation” is in relation to the high seas: about the current effort on the high seas and how the members, as small island developing states (SIDS), will have a fair share.
Mr Pangelinan reiterated that the issue for discussion is purely about “high seas allocation”, a conversation that was bedded down at WCPFC14 in Manila in 2017. At WCPFC16, he said, it is time to discuss what is the best way to approach the issue and make sure there is a fair and equitable distribution of those allocation rights to the high seas.
The high seas are in the SIDS’ back yards, and they want access to develop this area just as the distant water fishing nations (DWFN) have for many years.
Pacific members would like to see an agreed approach and process come out of the WCPFC16 conversation, Mr Pangelinan said.
“2020 will be an important year for us. That’s when the tropical tuna measure (TTM) will expire, and we will need to make sure that in 2020 we have that process well set. We are advocating a two-day workshop to tackle high seas allocations because its fundamental to agreeing to a future TTM,” he said.
The 16th annual meeting of WCPFC reconvened at 9 am today, and is expected to close its proceedings on Wednesday, 11 December.
Article by Lealaiauloto Aigaletaule’ale’a F. Tauafiafi’s. His participation and coverage at the WCPFC16 was made possible by the Forum Fisheries Agency, Pew Charitable Trusts, and GEF OFMP2 project.
“We remind ourselves that FFA members were the founding members for the Tuna Commission. And since the beginning, even during the days of the negotiations for the Convention [to establish the Commission], we have been driven by the exceptional vision, forty years ago on why we do this.” — Dr Manu Tupou-Roosen, Director-General, Forum Fisheries Agency
Forty years ago, 12 Pacific leaders met in Solomon Islands under the chairmanship of the Rt Hon. Peter Kenilorea. They adopted and opened for signature an international treaty (convention) to formally establish the agency that today is known as the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA).
It was a time when religion was stronger, and “In the beginning …”, the first words in the Bible, was the most widely remembered term in the region. In 1979, leaders recognised that the terms “coastal states” and “living marine resources” in the South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency Convention and, in particular, the highly migratory species.
They also correctly anticipated the adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea [which happened in 1982], and so they identified fisheries as a critical regional sector in which Pacific coastal states could support each other in harnessing their sovereign rights to conserve and manage their highly migratory species.
established the FFA, specifically designed to promote the rational exploitation of highly migratory species in the region for the benefit of the Forum member countries, and
came up with the vision to drive and inspire its efforts into the unknown waters of the future:
“Our people will enjoy the highest levels of social and economic benefits through the sustainable use of our offshore fisheries resources.”
Against the backdrop of this vision, FFA’s first female Director-General, Dr Manu Tupou-Roosen, stopped a press conference to reflect on the significance of the agency’s anniversary.
It was a pause necessary to remind all concerned about the inspiration, the relevance and wisdom of Pacific tupuna as FFA members push for one of the most important pieces of work ever undertaken by its members – tabling a climate-change resolution calling on all Tuna Commission members to support united action against the greatest threat ever faced by the Pacific fishery and peoples – and humanity collectively.
“We must always remind ourselves of the reason why we are here,” said Dr Manu Tupou-Roosen.
ourselves that FFA members were the founding members for the Commission. And
since the beginning, even during the days of the negotiations for the
Convention [to establish the Tuna Commission] we have been driven by why we do
“It is for our
people to create the social and economic benefits that come from our valuable
tuna resources. This is always top of mind for our membership, no matter what
specific task is given to each FFA member or to our collective membership as we
undertake the duties entrusted to us by our Pacific people in the Commission.”
For FFA, it means one of the important parts of its effort is to ensure that the interests and special requirements of Pacific small island developing states (SIDS) are actively considered in the decision-making of the Tuna Commission.
“This includes ensuring effective participation by SIDS in the vast work of the Commission and that there is no disproportionate burden placed on SIDS from conservation action,” Dr Tupou-Roosen said.
“So it is an
important reminder that we are here to represent those who entrust us.”
The climate-change resolution proposed by FFA members to the 16th meeting of the Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission reads:
FFA members call on the WCPFC, as a collective body made up of all its member countries,to take stronger action on climate change.
We propose action on three fronts:
Increased focus and attention by the Scientific Committee’s Ecosystem and Bycatch Working Group on the implications of climate change for the region’s tuna stocks;
Active consideration by the Commission of how, through agreement of appropriate Conservation and Management Measures, it can:
mitigate the impacts of climate change on Pacific Island countries arising from the influence of climate change on regional tuna stocks;
reduce the carbon footprint of fishing in the Convention Area for fish stocks managed by the Commission.
Ongoing action by the WCPFC Secretariat and members to reduce our collective carbon footprint, and the carbon footprint associated with WCPFC meetings.
FFA members look forward to working with our fellow WCPFC members to respond proactively to the threat to all of us posed by climate change.
FFC Chair Mr Eugene Pangelinan, left, and FFA Director-General Dr Manu Tupou-Roosen, right, at Sir John Guise Stadium, Port Moresby, for the 16th Tuna Commission meeting.
The 24 countries and territories of the Pacific are united behind a call for a Climate Change resolution to come out of the 16th meeting of the Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC16) taking place in Papua New Guinea.
“Climate change is a top priority for us,” said Mr Eugene Pangelinan, Chair of the Forum Fisheries Committee (FFC) and Head of Delegation for Federated States of Micronesia.
“The [FFA] membership are calling for strong action by the Tuna Commission, specifically looking at food recognition of the impacts of climate change on our fisheries, on our food security, and livelihoods.
He said science has already started to show some of the impacts of climate change, such as “the distribution of fish stocks moving more towards the east as years go on. So there is direct scientific information that tells us something is happening to our fish stocks.”
the Forum Fisheries Agency, given the importance that ministers have placed on
addressing and advocating for more attention to climate change in particular,
in terms of its impacts on fisheries. How do we address that here at the
Commission,” he said.
our emphasis here [at the Tuna Commission] is a starting point. This is a
resolution, it is not binding. It is just to start that conversation within the
WCPFC but most importantly, FFA and all the developed countries sitting around
the table need to understand that climate change is happening for us and as
ministers highlighted, we need to start that process here and a resolution
always starts that discussion.”
He agrees it could turn out to be a very costly activity, “but we have to have that conversation. So we are putting ourselves up in front but we invite our colleagues to come in and help us have that discussion.”
FFA Director-General Dr Manu Tupou-Roosen emphasised that, “While a resolution is non-binding, it will serve to focus attention on this important area, and whilst we refine the specific actions that can be taken by this Commission. Then we can move into binding measures.”
The resolution was introduced yesterday, and preliminary feedback asking questions including the mandate of this Commission on the topic of climate have been received.
“But our members are committed – our leaders have been clear – that this is the greatest threat to our security, and to our well-being and health as Pacific islanders, so there’s a really strong push from our members to persevere with this,” Dr Tupou-Roosen confirmed.
“It’s early days to tell where we are at with this. But we are so privileged to have key advocates such as the Hon. Minister from Fiji, the Hon. Minister from Tuvalu, and others in the room who will be able to help us get this through.”
Modeling from the Pacific Community indicates that as a result of climate change, tuna stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean will move east. It will mean more difficulty in monitoring and managing the fisheries, and the total tuna business opportunities are likely decline in the second half of this century.
To date, the tuna catch has been increasing, especially for domestic fleets. According to the Pacific Community, the amount of tuna caught in the Pacific fishery has doubled in the past 25 years, from 1.4 million tonnes in 1990 to 2.8 million in 2014. While large foreign fishing vessels dominate the catch, the percentage caught by domestic fleets is increasing substantially, and 550,000 t of tuna was caught by Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs) in 2014.
Aigaletaule’ale’a F Tauafiafi’s participation and coverage at the WCPFC16 was
made possible by the Forum Fisheries Agency, Pew Charitable Trusts, and
GEF OFMP2 project.
It said all four species that are economically important in the region – skipjack, South Pacific albacore, yellowfin and bigeye – are being fished sustainably.
In the parlance of the report, “none is being overfished, and overfishing is not occurring”, although there was “no room for complacency” in how fish stocks are managed because all four species continue to decline overall.
The abundance of a species is estimated against a benchmark, called a target reference point (TRP), which is a desirable level of stock needed to maintain the healthy functioning of the species, the environment it lives in, and the sustainability of fishing.
The report card said that numbers of skipjack tuna are above the target reference point (TRP) for that species. TRPs are being developed for the other three species.
The report noted that the value of tuna fishing to the region is increasing, and had passed the target for 2020.
Local employment in the tuna industry was also increasing, and was on target to meet the 2023 target.
HONIARA, 28 November 2019 -– His Royal Highness, Prince Charles, has launched the Solomon Islands Ocean Policy, which aims to step up sustainable management and conservation of the Solomon Islands fisheries industry.
The Prince oversaw the launch event at the Lawson Tama Stadium on Monday, 25 November, during his recent visit to Honiara. The visit focused on climate change and ocean governance.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, attended by more than a thousand people, the Prince of Wales said the natural environment of the country is important for its prosperity and security.
He said it is sad to see the environment of the country, just like many other countries in the world, threatened by climate change, global warming, pollution, unsustainable logging, and overfishing.
you keep your natural heritage, your children and your grandchildren will also
benefit from them,” he said.
added that something urgent needs to be done.
The Prince said that, for that reason, he was pleased to be part of the launching program to witness the important government new ocean policy.
hope the policy will secure the marine ecosystem that surrounds these islands
and to bring wealth, health and wellbeing for the future generation,” he said.
Prior to the launch, His Royal Highness, Prince Charles, also addressed the national parliament of Solomon Islands.
At the parliament, the Prince of Wales praised Solomon Islands for establishing the marine protected areas initiatives to protect fish and food nutrients, and said it is vital for survival of the endangered oceans creatures.
“Marine protected areas are utterly essential mechanisms to increase fisheries catch,” Prince Charles said.
“If the world achieves target of protecting 40% of oceans by 2030, the global fishing catch will actually increase by 57%.
“It seems such an immense potential for the Solomon Islands for taking leading role by protecting [marine areas]. This will help to increase dramatically the productivity of fisheries and major boost to tourism sector,” Prince Charles told parliament.
He added that besides Solomon Islands’ human capital, the precious natural environment and biodiversity of its islands, on land and water, and below the water, represent immense reserves of natural capital.
“As you would appreciate far better than me, your islands are blessed with an astonishing biodiversity of global importance, with your coral reefs being the second most diverse in the world,” the Prince said.
“But such natural capital wealth which, if sustainably managed, should be the bedrock of your economic growth, is at the same time very fragile. Its very fragility is increased immeasurably and alarmingly by the great impact of global warming, climate change and natural capital intrusion.”
In a brief introduction of the Solomon Islands Ocean Policy at the launch event this week, the Director of the Government Communication Unit (GCU), George Herming, said the National Ocean Policy provides a framework that will guide the integrated governance over 1.9 million square kilometres of ocean.
“The policy carried the vision of the Government and people of Solomon Islands for a healthy, resilient, secure and productive ocean that supports sustainable use and development for the benefit of the people and children of Solomon Islands now into the future,” Mr Herming said.
“This is a policy path that we have chosen to join the Malaysia Ocean, recognising its values and opportunities, embraces many uses and to proactively address our ocean threats,” he added.
More significantly, Mr Herming said, through the policy Solomon Islands is joining the global community towards meeting the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
He said the Cabinet under the Solomon Islands Democratic Coalition for Change Government (SIDCCG) and Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela endorsed the policy in November 2018, and Monday’s launch marks the beginning of the journey to roll it out.
is being supported by the current government of Manasseh Sogavare, the
Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA).
When speaking at the launch, the Solomon Islands Prime Minister said the National Ocean Policy provides the framework to safeguard the health and integrity of the ocean to benefit the current generation but, more importantly, would leave a legacy for future generations.
“The policy will also ensure we met our national, regional and international commitments,” Mr Sogavare said.
He added that Solomon Islands is a large ocean state with 98.2% covered by ocean, and only 1.8% covered by land.
“This is our reality and we are ocean people living in harmony with our ocean, our culture, our spirituality, our livelihood and our sustaining is interlinked to our ocean,” he said.
“To protect opportunities and pursue development opportunities from our ocean, we developed a robust and integrated ocean governance policy that entrenches a vision of a healthy, resilient, secure and productive ocean that supports sustainable use and development for the benefit of the people of Solomon Islands now and into the future.”
As part of His Royal Highness’s visit to Solomon Islands, he also took the time to tour the Regional Fisheries Surveillance Centre (RFSC) at the Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) headquarters in Honiara.
Though the visit was short, the Prince of Wales was briefed about FFA’s work in the area of sustainable fisheries management, and on regional efforts to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) and minimise the impacts of climate change.
“We emphasised the importance of cooperation in the sustainable utilisation of our fisheries resources because of its critical importance to the economic, cultural and social fabric of our Pacific people, and consistent with the long track record and commitment of His Royal Highness, Prince Charles, to sustainable management of the world’s oceans,” said Dr Tupou-Roosen.
According to Mr Steve Masika of the FFA RFSC, the Prince was also told of how the work of the FFA is linked to the newly launched Solomon Islands Ocean Policy.
After the RFSC tour, HRH Prince Charles also met FFA staff, engaging with them on aspects of FFA’s work.
“It was a great honour for our staff to meet the Prince of Wales and we were pleased to have an opportunity to present him with a gift as a token of our appreciation,” Dr Tupou-Roosen said in a statement.
HONIARA, 15 November 2019 – The arrival of the new Guardian class patrol boats for Solomon Islands will greatly improve the capabilities of the local police force to serve the nation, secure its borders, and protect its people and resources, says Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.
Mr Sogavare made the remarks when he received the new Guardian class patrol in a ceremony at the Austral Australia Shipyard, Henderson, Perth, Western Australia, on Friday, 8 November.
The vessel is the first of the two new Guardian class patrol boats for Solomon Islands, donated by the Australian government.
“On behalf of the government and the people of Solomon Islands, I am deeply honoured and privileged to officially receive the new Guardian class patrol boat from the government and people of Australia to replace the first of our two aging patrol boats that had served my country well over the past three decades. We are truly grateful,” Mr Sogavare said.
“This ceremony demonstrates
the depth and breadth of the friendship and partnership between our two
“This relationship has endured and strengthened over time, embodying our shared values and mutual respect for each other.”
The patrol boat is part of the broader Australian Pacific Patrol Boat Program. The program demonstrates Australia’s interest in and commitment to assisting its smaller Pacific Island neighbours to step up and increase their respective capabilities to provide security for their countries.
“Solomon Islands is honoured to be part of this excellent program,” the Prime Minister added.
The Australian Government has been providing support to Solomon Islands through the Defence Cooperation Program (DCP) and the Pacific Patrol Boat Program for more than 30 years. This reflects the true friendship and ever deepening partnership between our two countries over many years.
According to the Solomon Islands Prime Minister, the ceremony is symbolic and historical, as it testifies the success of the bilateral and security collaboration between Australia and Solomon Islands.
He said the new Guardian class boat is bigger, faster, and more capable than anything that came before it.
“It will greatly improve the capabilities of the RSIPF [Royal Solomon Islands Police Force] to serve our nation, secure our borders, and protect our people and resources.
“This new vessel will help
our police and related government agencies to carry out essential national
security and humanitarian tasks.
“This include fisheries surveillance and marine enforcement, disaster evacuation and humanitarian response, maritime search and rescue, law enforcement, and general policing services across the country, particularly for outer and remote islands,” Mr Sogavare stated.
The PM added that the new Guardian class vessel is an impressive feat of modern engineering which will take Solomon Islands to new heights in protecting its waters.
Meanwhile, Solomon Islands Deputy Commissioner (DC) for National Security and Operational Support, Mostyn Mangau, said the Australian Government newly donated patrol boat will greatly benefit the local police and the country.
Mangau accompanied Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and Police, National Security and Correctional Services Minister Anthony Veke to receive the new patrol boat.
In a Police Statement, DC Mangau said the new boat is purposely to conduct maritime surveillance and enforcement operations like fighting illegal fishing, search and rescue for distressed boats, VIP escorts, and other border operations.
Mangau also thanked the
government and people of Australia for the gift of the new patrol boat.
“I would also like to thank the Australian Defence Program and Australian High Commission in Solomon Islands for making possible arrangements for the official handing over ceremony held in Perth, Western Australia, last week.”
RSIPF maritime officers, who are currently being trained on board the RSIPV Gizo in Perth, will sail the patrol boat to Solomon Islands and expected to arrive in Honiara by the middle of next month.
A formal welcome ceremony is being planned for the arrival of the new patrol boat to its new home, the Aola Patrol Base in Honiara.
It has a length of 39.5 metres, and a complement of 23 crew members. It is powered by two 5,400 hp diesel engines, and can travel 3,000 nautical miles at minimal speed.
HONIARA, 24 October 2019 – Pacific Community (SPC) fisheries scientist Sam McKechnie says SPC’s research shows an easterly move for skipjack and yellowfin tuna species in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean that will be clear by 2050 and pronounced by 2100.
According to a September 2018 SPC report, the prediction is driven by the degradation of fish spawning habitats due to higher ocean temperatures.
McKechnie presented current projections of the impacts of climate change on tuna movement during the 7th Global Environment Facility Steering Committee last month.
Part of SPC’s climate modelling focuses on the effects of climate change on bycatch species such as sharks, seabirds and turtles. While not of commercial interest, these animals are immensely important for ecological diversity and food security.
McKechnie said that the SPC research optimistically shows that some species, like the yellowtail kingfish, may be able to adapt to predicted changes. This capacity occurs when there is higher genetic diversity in a species and it is able to thrive in warming waters. Yellowtail kingfish can be bred easily in captivity, making it an excellent test subject for studying the impacts of climate change on large species that live in the open ocean.
Management of fish stocks in the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of Pacific countries and on the high seas depends on understanding current stock levels. It also depends on estimating catch levels so that Pacific countries can capitalise on the fisheries economically and socially, while maintaining sustainable limits. Programs developed by SPC, for example TUFMAN 2, support rigorous documenting on vessels to ensure accurate catch reporting.
“There’s a big update coming in the next couple months that will be rolled out,” McKechnie said.
“TUFMAN has been extremely valuable for us and there’s more components that have been added recently […] that will hopefully increase the value of the data and that there will be less mistakes.
“The better this interface gets, the easier it is to validate.”
Eugene Pangelinan, the Executive Director of the National Oceanic Resource Management Authority (NORMA), thanked SPC for support in this area, as electronic reporting is a priority for the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).
“We have been pushing forward on implementing the electronic monitoring on all our commercial fisheries, foreign and domestic, by 2023,” he said.
Fisheries representatives from Tonga, Cook Islands, Fiji and FSM expressed appreciation for the SPC’s work in data collection and regional training workshops during Tuesday’s meeting.
Members said these activities, supported through the Oceanic Fisheries Management Project (OFMP2), have informed decision-making and improved electronic monitoring.
HONIARA, 24 October 2019 – The 14 member states of the Oceanic Fisheries Management Project (OFMP2) gathered on Tuesday to plan for the final year of the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) initiative. During the 7th Global Environment Facility (GEF) Steering Committee meeting, participants reflected on project’s achievements during the year and made plans for the future.
FFA representatives talked final targets for the OFMP2 project before it wraps up in 2020. Next year, the project will focus on limits and allocations for tropical tuna on purse seine and longline vessels, longline electronic monitoring, and transhipment review.
Manager, Hugh Walton said one of the main concerns for the next phase of the
project was high seas management.
Fishing Nations (DWFNs), particularly China and Taiwan, want to retain that
right for the high seas transhipment.
“They have to
be able to prove economic disadvantage […] it’s not documented, and it’s not
tested, so it’s a huge loophole and we’re trying to close it.”
The Parties to
the Nauru Agreement Office CEO, Ludwig Kumoru, also emphasised that the project
could only move forward with long-term high seas allocations in place. Current
allocations ensure that available resources are equitably distributed between
fisheries who target the same species outside country Exclusive Economic Zones
Mere Lakeba, Director
of Fisheries, Fiji said that catering to countries’ individual needs was
important moving forward. Hugh Walton, OFMPII coordinator said that this would
be a priority.
the last proposal, the OMFP sent consultants to each country and produced a
template of situational analyses of what was going on in each country to identify
“There is no
one size fits all, and we would not aspire to a one size fits all approach,” Walton
Walton also spoke
of project successes including the Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis (TDA) and
the resulting Strategic Action Programme (SAP) produced by Professor David
Vousden of Rhodes University.
The TDA and
SAP have shed light on the current challenges for the management of Pacific
EEZs, and presented Pacific countries with the steps that can be taken to
mitigate the issues.
The report put
root causes of current fisheries issues down to a lack of high seas compliance,
climate change impacts, and pollution from coastal and inland activities.
It also notes
a positive: migratory tuna stocks are currently at sustainable levels due to
the management and efforts of Pacific fisheries over the last 20 years.
All 14 member states have sent letters of endorsement for the Project Implementation Form (PIF). The PIF was submitted to the GEF on October 11, and outlines plans for continuing OFMP2 activities. A detailed proposal for the next phase of the project is planned for June 2020.