Pacific Journalists Asked To Give More Coverage On Tuna

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Communities apparently unaware of tuna’s importance to Pacific

By Daniel Namosuaia

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Aug. 22, 2012) – Pacific journalists who have participated at the weeklong tuna communication workshop in Honiara are urged to spread the message of tuna to leaders and their communities.

Facilitator and Pew Director for Global Tuna Conservation campaign Amanda Nickson said their hope is for pacific journalists to make more coverage on tuna around the pacific region, and especially in all the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) countries.

"Our hope is that out of this workshop, there’ll be more coverage in many of the news outlets around other Pacific region in all PNA countries to help all the people of these countries understand the importance of tuna resources and enable governments to make good decisions about managing fishing of tuna in PNA waters.

"We hope that information will be more available to people in communities in the Pacific and will support good decision making so that the people in PNA countries will benefit from tuna in their waters," Ms. Nickson said.

She added that they discovered through talking to many people of the countries they’ve visited that not many people were aware of how important tuna is to the region, and how the leadership of Pacific Island Countries (PIC) in tuna management is actually changing the global face of tuna management.

Ms. Nickson therefore urges journalists to report on important issues about tuna management to their leaders, the people and communities.

She stressed that the Pacific region is very rich in tuna stock and conservation measures are vital for its sustainability for future generations.

"The Pacific is home to the largest tuna fishery, worth US$5.5 billion a year. And many of the Pacific Island Countries (PIC) showed real leadership in trying to ensure these stocks are fished in a sustainable way and to make sure the ocean systems are healthy for the generations to come. And we want to help get the story out to the Pacific people and support the leadership that’s been shown by these countries," she added.

Meanwhile journalists have all expressed their appreciation of the workshop saying it was very helpful in broaden their understanding and knowledge about tuna fisheries.

The journalists say they will work together to report on various tuna issues in the Pacific to educate their leaders and people and their communities about the importance of tuna fisheries in the Pacific.

In showing their support, the journalists have decided to create a tuna network that will help them keep informed of what is going on in the region and report it to their local, national and international audiences.

The tuna communication workshop ended successfully on Monday.

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