Sustainability of Pacific fisheries is compromised by the impacts of climate change: Forum Chair

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By Pita Ligaiula in Seoul

Forum Chair and Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown says the sustainability of Pacific fisheries is compromised by the impacts of climate change, marine pollution and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

In his remarks at the opening plenary of the Korea Cooperation on Oceans and Fisheries (KICCOF) this week in Busan, Brown said fisheries is one of Pacific key ocean resources.

“It supports the livelihoods and food security of our people, and it’s also a major revenue source for our Pacific economies.

“The potential for the ocean to meet our sustainable development needs is enormous. To harness this potential, we must ensure that the ocean’s health is protected and maintained to a healthy and productive state,” he told leaders from Korea and Pacific.

Brown said the region has benefited from the support provided by the Republic of Korea. He acknowledged continued efforts by the Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries and the Korea Maritime Institute to deepen cooperation with the Pacific.

“I believe our cooperation, and through knowledge sharing and research, we can jointly find solutions that will support our collective efforts in protecting our ocean and sustainably developing our fisheries sector.

“I strongly believe that today’s International Conference on Oceans and Fisheries will be a platform to raise awareness and strengthen cooperation measures for the sustainable development of the oceans and fisheries sector. And most importantly, by sharing Korea’s good experience and best practice to developing countries, I believe we can make a big step forward to achieving the vision of our Forum Leaders stipulated in the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent,” said PM Brown.

He said, “Our Blue Pacific Ocean is our biggest endowment for our Pacific Island Countries, and they are committed, through the implementation of the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent, to ensuring that our ocean and its resources are protected, managed and developed in a sustainable manner.

“96 percent of our region is ocean and Pacific Island Countries are stewards of over 40 million square kilometres of the Pacific Ocean, spanning nearly 20 percent of the earth’s surface.

With that comes great responsibility and we have demonstrated strong, global leadership which led to the adoption of SDG14 and its targets,” said PM Brown.

SOURCE: PACNEWS