MIGRATORY FISH CONFERENCE CONTINUES IN HONOLULU

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HONOLULU, Hawai‘i (February 15, 1999 - PIDP/CPIS/Hulsen)---An international conference to establish a permanent migratory fish stock management commission among 27 Pacific Island and Pacific Rim nations is continuing in Hawai‘i through February 19.

Chairing the session is Ambassador Satya Nandan, Secretary General of the International Seabed Authority. Nandan is a former Fiji Ambassador to the United Nations.

The fourth MHLC4, standing for the Multilateral High Level Conference on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific, is focused on the territorial waters west of the 150 longitude, where the world’s richest stocks of big eye, skipjack, yellow fin and albacore tuna are found. The area covers almost a third of the globe and includes most of Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia.

The Pacific conference, formed after a 1995 United Nations fisheries agreement, has set a deadline of June 2000 to complete a final fisheries accord among the participating nations.

Currently, according to a U.S. delegate, the migratory fish stocks are thriving and commission members are putting in place protective harvesting controls.

The conference's goals are to reach agreement on such matters as the allocation of allowable catches, full implementation of a vessel monitoring system and the establishment of an organizational headquarters.

PNG MOVES TO PROTECT AND MANAGE FISHERIES

HONOLULU, Hawai‘i (February 14, 1999 - PACNEWS/Radio Australia)---Papua New Guinea Ambassador Lucy Bogari has told a fisheries conference in Hawai‘i that her country will pursue its sovereign rights as a coastal state in managing Pacific region fish stocks.

The high level, multilateral conference on the conservation and management of migratory fish in the Pacific is scheduled to continue through this week.

Bogari said Papua New Guinea's rights will be pursued within the context of a proposed western and central Pacific convention governing the sustainable use of tuna stocks.

She said that while Papua New Guinea already is taking steps to help conserve and manage tuna stocks in the waters of the region, it is equally important that other island countries do the same.

PNG's fisheries rights are protected under a new Fisheries Management Act adopted by the national Parliament last year.

Papua New Guinea recently started implementing its own "in-zone" conservation and management measures, including the use of satellites to monitor the activities of foreign fishing boats.

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