This Tuna T-shirt? It started as a doodle, and it’s not a tuna.It’s something created while I listened to everyone during a meeting. I doodle away while I’m thinking about what’s being said. Sometimes it looks good, and sometimes it looks terrible. In this case, someone walking past saw my doodling and asked to use it– and here’s how it worked out.
I can’t remember how many times I have come to the Tuna Commission. All I know is I’ve been in fisheries a long time. I started out with the Nauru department of Island Development. They had Fisheries under them. Then we developed it to become a department, and eventually it became an Authority. I’ve been through all these phases in senior positions, and now I’m the CEO.
It’s exciting in this field. You can see around the table or at the meetings you go to, that the same old people and faces are around, but that’s because for many of us, fisheries is all we do. And it must be because we like it. For me, I enjoy all the interaction between people who work across the industry, the fisheries managers, the decisions to be made in a place like this. It’s just quite exciting.
What makes WCPFC 15 stand out from the previous meetings? The Tropical Tuna Measure is very important. Some aspects of it are expiring, we need to maintain those and keep working on it, while some members want to change it and bring in amendments. I think we need to maintain and take care of it. It’s a delicate balance we’ve achieved with where it’s at and you don’t want to do anything to cause it to break up and fall apart.
At every meeting, the vibe depends on the people around you and where it’s being hosted. Depending on the agenda, it feels different every time, and it’s a new challenge every time.
I think if there’s one aspect of Tuna Commission I would love for our people to understand, it’s the amount of work involved in being here. There are different kinds of work you need to be up to date with, and so many levels. It’s not just about fishing, it’s about how you manage IUU, and all aspects of the fishery. It’s not just one thing, it’s many things. And when I see the amount of work people put in, it’s phenomenal. From the outside, people may think it’s a holiday destination so the work of fisheries management and the Tuna Commission must feel the same. But all I see is the work to be done, and the four walls around me from morning until night. It’s an exotic location from the outside, but all I see are four walls.
The future of fisheries will be in good hands the more we as Pacific nations are able to exercise control our tuna resources, because once we have that, the more economically viable the future gets. And where will I be in that future?
Right there- swimming with the fish. –ENDS