Securing a sustainable future in the Pacific – a TED talk

Categories Op-Eds: Tuna newsbeat insightsPosted on

Republished from Franciso Blaha’s blog, 29 July 2017

by Francisco Blaha


My colleague and friend David Power, a management advisor in FFA, told me a few months ago he was Invited to do a TED talk in Sydney, and wanted to catch up on how is to do one?  Since I have done one, yet in a much smaller venue, we had  good chat about it. For me doing a the TED talk was a really good experience, albeit quite sobering.   

While I talked about what I do, it made me think about why I do it. It is quite nerve wracking, you talking about your work to a lot of people that may have preconceived ideas on fisheries issues, and you have 15′ to explain your universe!

So I feel for David when he says “it was the most nerve wracking experience he ever had with public speaking”! But he did a really good job as you can see, he owned the stage!

David is a good man and I’m sure it was an honour for him to have the opportunity to talk about the great work that everyone is doing in the region and showcase the Pacific.

I think is great that the people working in the Pacific fisheries have more public profiles, as I always say; is about people, not just fish.

Good on you David! (and thank you for using some of my pictures and crediting them!)

… Read the rest of the blog post here

World tuna day announced by the United Nations

Categories Op-Eds: Tuna newsbeat insightsPosted on

Republished from Franciso Blaha’s blog, 14 December 2016

by Francisco Blaha


The United Nations General Assembly has voted today to make May 2nd World Tuna Day.

The Parties to the Nauru Agreement have been pushing to establish an internationally recognised event for the past five years.  The United Nations General Assembly voted without objection to ratify a resolution on World Tuna Day that had been endorsed by nearly 100 nations prior to today’s vote at UN headquarters in New York City. Ambassadors from PNA nations attended the vote.

Tuna is a primary source of revenue for Pacific Island governments and is a key part of food security in the region and World Tuna Day helps strengthen the voice of Pacific nations striving to ensure their succeses and challenges are part of the global tuna conversation.

As the resource owners of the regions multi-billion-dollar fishery, it is clearly important that Pacific knowledge, progress and experiences must lead the global tuna conversations. And tuna is keeping the Pacific working, with jobs in the fisheries sector rising from 10,500 in 2010 to an estimated 19,000 in the present.  Added to that, while just under 20% of the tuna catch in the Pacific EEZs is caught by domestic fleets, that is still a rising trend, on top of another area of increase– the amount of the catch being processed on shore, where the majority of the jobs are filled by women.

A range of factors lead to these upward trends, amongst them an ability to implement at national level the results of regional agreements and actions for fisheries licensing, compliance, and monitoring policies, and management measures

Our challenge in the region is to continue this growth, including extending it to a broader range of the membership and to all fisheries.  The success of the PNA members in leveraging huge returns from the purse seine fishery is our collective inspiration for also reforming and benefiting more from long lining for example.

And of course, fisheries are not all rosy.  The Pacific faces numerous and substantial challenges including the overfished status of bigeye tuna, marginal economic status of albacore and concerted attacks on pacific islands sovereign rights from distant water fishing nations.