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NEWS RELEASE April 25, 2000


Two fisheries projects concentrating on the sustainable management and development of the Pacific tuna industry are up for funding approval from the Canadian government.

On Friday, the projects will be discussed during the sixth meeting of the Program Management Committee (PMC) of the Canada-South Pacific Ocean Development (C-SPOD) Program held in Suva, Fiji at the South Pacific Forum Secretariat.

Delegates at the meeting will include representatives from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Forum Secretariat (ForSec), South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), University of the South Pacific (USP), and the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA). All C-SPOD projects are developed by the four regional partner organizations and are approved and coordinated by the PMC.

C-SPOD is Canada's major regional commitment to the Pacific Islands. It reflects the Canadian and Pacific viewpoint that ocean development is a key priority. Started in 1988, the two-phase program has provided $28 million in funding for various marine projects throughout the South Pacific. All projects supported by C-SPOD ensure equity and balanced benefits for all Pacific Islanders.

The first project up for approval at the meeting, is an extension in funding for an ongoing FFA program. The extension will enable the organization to continue successful regional coordination and training in the legal and monitoring, control, and surveillance (MCS) areas of tuna management. In addition, it will enable the strengthening of in-country management following the completion of the Multilateral High-level Conference on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific (MHLC) process expected next fall.

Since the CAD$1.4-million program started in 1998, workshops and training courses have been held, as well as three regional meetings on MCS issues involving all Forum Island member countries.

The second proposal is a new program at FFA, worth CAD$260,000. The project is to help member countries implement and incorporate international and regional sustainable fisheries management obligations into their domestic legislation. Presently, there is wide disparity among member countries in their efforts to include these initiatives into domestic laws. Some have managed to enact up-to-date legislation in the past two years, whereas others have not amended or reviewed their fisheries legislation for over a decade.

If approved by the PMC, the projects will join 14 others totaling CAD$8.6-million already funded under Phase II of C-SPOD. Presently, the Canadian government is working in the Pacific to support turtle and coral reef conservation at SPREP; the development of country-specific tuna management plans at FFA; a certification program for the Pacific marine ornamentals industry at ForSec; and the funding of 22 Pacific Islanders in pursuit of Masters degrees and doctorates in the Marine Studies Programme at USP.


For more information, please contact:

Jennifer Robinson C-SPOD Media Relations Assistant (679) 312 600, fax 312 696 email 

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