Sustainable Fisheries Roadmap Presented To Forum Leaders

Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Community based management focus of regional plan

By Koro Vaka'uta, in Port Moresby

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Sept. 10, 2015) – The chair of the Forum Fisheries Ministerial group Elisala Pita has presented what he calls a roadmap for sustainable fisheries in the region.

Mr Pita made the presentation at the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting in Papua New Guinea's capital, Port Moresby.

He says the Pacific needs to take control of their tuna fisheries through systems that give rights to their own and not foreign fleets.

Mr Pita says as far as coastal fisheries, local communities should be empowered to manage their resources, protecting their future food security.

Most tuna is caught by foreign vessels with 90% taken out of the region for processing.

Mr Pita says the solution is an increase in community based management with countries firmly establishing control through systems of zone-based rights.

He says the Vessel Day Scheme shows the gains in revenue that such an approach can achieve, but more ways to grow returns are needed.

Possible employment growth by requiring vessels to employ Pacific staff is proposed as well as the promotion of onshore processing.

The Forum leaders will take the roadmap to their retreat today to discuss further.

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