Journalist Meet In New Caledonia To Learn About Tuna Industry

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Regional initiative hopes media will take greater interest in ‘tunanomics’

By Laufaleaina Lesa, Onelook Communications

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, Feb. 9, 2014) – Journalists from around the Pacific, including Samoa, are gathering in Noumea, New Caledonia, for two days this week. The topic of the meeting is "tunanomics."

And what is "tunanomics?" Well, it is a term used to explain the economic dimensions of developing and managing tuna fisheries in the region. Getting journalists interested in reporting on tuna fisheries is the goal behind a regional media and tuna reporting workshop called Tunanomics Media Initiative.

It hopes to support business reporting on Tuna Fisheries. The workshop is part of the Pacific Media Summit also held in Noumea at the same time, under the theme – Constructive Engagement for a Strong and Responsible Media.

The workshop is organized by the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) and funded by the European Union’s DEVFISH II project led by FFA and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) in partnership with the Pacific Islands News Association (PINA).

It will be co-facilitated by FFA’s Media Officer, Lisa Williams-Lahari, and Islands Business Magazine’s, Robert Matau.

Participants from about 10 Pacific island nations, including Samoa, will learn more about accessible resources developed by and for media workers to help grow the national and regional conversation on tuna fisheries and development. The aim is to generate quality reporting of tuna fisheries by mainstream media and to form effective information networking relationships between national fisheries and media stakeholders.

Journalists will get the chance to see firsthand Noumea’s tuna fisheries industry during a series of field trips, as part of the workshop.

Expert presentations at the workshop will give journalists an insight and introduction into the global demand for tuna and its evolution as an industry across the region.

There will also be a focus on the importance of agency collaboration in terms of regional fisheries management organizations and other stakeholders as well as species, fishing methods, current research trends to watch and treaties, mechanisms and events guiding Pacific tuna fisheries.

Journalists will get a chance to share what works and what doesn’t when it comes to covering tuna fisheries in their communities and learn ways to access information and data to help improve their access and analysis.

One of the major outcomes of this initiative is the compilation of a Tunanomics handbook for Pacific media, which participants will play a pivotal role in producing and compiling.

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