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Following the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) officials’ session Sunday, the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) opened its four-day briefing Monday in Honolulu for fisheries officials in preparation for the upcoming Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission annual meeting.
At the opening session for officials from the 17 member Pacific islands, FFA Director General Manu Tupou-Roosen welcomed PNA CEO Ludwig Kumoru and PNA Office staff participation in briefing session.
“The PNA official’s session Sunday and this week’s FFA briefing is an important part of our commitment to ensuring sustainable management of the fishery in the Pacific,” said PNA CEO Ludwig Kumoru. He recognised Dr. Tupou-Roosen for ongoing collaboration between the FFA and PNA on the wide-array of fisheries management issues on which Pacific islands are engaged.
Kumoru made the point that these briefing sessions are essential for fisheries officials from the islands to effectively advocate for measures promoting sustainable management of fish stocks at the WCPFC.
Kumoru noted, too, that the briefing sessions provide for discussion of the layers of detail that go into developing proposals and positions for “best practice” governance in the fishery.
“The FFA Director General reminded us that we are doing this work for the benefit of our people,” said Kumoru. “We are the resource owners. This is why we work together to promote effective measures at the WCPFC for sustainable management of our fisheries resources.”
Kumoru emphasised that ensuring tuna stocks remain healthy for the long term is the highest priority of the islands. This requires ongoing and effective conservation measures on both the high seas and in the exclusive economic zones of the islands, he said. “This is why the PNA and the FFA put so much effort into preparing for the WCPFC,” said Kumoru.
While zone-based management has been effective in maintaining purse seine fishing at sustainable levels, there continue to be challenges with the management of the longline sector, including on the high seas that need to be addressed by the WCPFC to ensure sustainable management of all tuna stocks, he said.
“There are many management issues we are working through this week in preparation for next week’s WCPFC annual meeting,” Kumoru said.
“PNA members are part of the FFA membership. PNA may emphasize some issues over others, but we are on the same page with the FFA going into the WCPFC.”
The WCPFC annual meeting opens Monday December 10 and continues through Friday December 14 at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu.
Pacific Islands News Association
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