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Numbers of drifting FADs underestimated, SPC study shows

By Claire Heath The numbers of drifting fish-aggregating devices in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) have been underestimated, an ongoing study by the Pacific Community (SPC) shows. Dr Lauriane Escalle, at SPC’s Oceanic Fisheries Programme (OFP), said they had counted 159 FADs or satellite buoys around Wallis and Futuna in the first year of a project with Wallis...

Former Oil Search boss Peter Botten says UBS ‘greedy’ on fees

Former Oil Search managing director Peter Botten has branded UBS “greedy” for the fees it charged on a deal in Papua New Guinea and said he was uncomfortable with the investment bank being on both sides of the transaction. In much-anticipated evidence to the royal commission into the so-called “UBS loan scandal”, Botten singled out the investment bank for criticism. Former...

Vanuatu government to file civil case today

The 19 Members of Parliament (MPs) on the Vanuatu Government side who are subject to the ruling of Justice Oliver Saksak, will be filing a civil case through their legal counsel today. Public Relations Officer (PRO) to the Prime Minister's Office, Fred Vurobaravu, confirmed this to the Daily Post. The MPs which include Prime Minister Bob Loughman, Deputy Prime Minister and...

Cook Islands to consider proof of Covid-19 vaccination

Proof of Covid-19 vaccination from countries with “rampant” cases of the virus are a future consideration, says Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown. “Our travel bubble with New Zealand doesn’t require vaccination and that’s working well but of course as we go on and people start to travel more, we may consider that (proof of Covid-19 vaccination) as a requirement...

Civil unrest and political instability threaten Fiji as COVID-19 outbreak takes hold

As Fiji's COVID-19 outbreak continues to devastate the country's economy, there are mounting fears the crisis could spark social unrest in the small Pacific island nation. Those concerns have ramped up after a wild street brawl erupted in a poor neighbourhood in the capital, Suva, over the weekend, following a number of rare protests by quarantined villagers. A video of the...

New Caledonia tension simmers over referendum date

Political tension is rising in New Caledonia as a third referendum on independence from France is planned in December. The decolonisation process under the 1998 Noumea Accord is nearing its conclusion and scenarios are being drawn up for how to deal with the result. In 2018 and 2020, a majority voted against independence, but the winning margin shrank from 56.7 percent...

Australia stands ready to support Fiji; NZ stands by Fiji in times of need

The Australian Minister for the Pacific says they are keen to assist Fiji in any way necessary to contain the spread of COVID-19 and achieve economic recovery. Zed Seselja reassured Australia’s aid commitment, a sign of the strengthening Vuvale partnership between the two countries. The Australian government is committing $600m (US$453 million) to assist Pacific Island countries including Fiji. Seselja said Australia...

Three deaths reported in Fiji from COVID-19

Three individuals who had tested positive of COVID-19 have died at Fiji's CWM hospital. This was confirmed by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services Permanent Secretary Dr James Fong in his daily COVID-19 statement Tuesday. Dr Fong said the first is a 68-year-old admitted to the hospital for a pre-existing non-COVID medical condition. “He tested positive during his admission and his...

Fiji recorded 180 new cases of COVID-19

Fiji’s Ministry of Health has recorded 180 new cases of COVID-19 today. This is based on the Ministry’s latest GIS dashboard update. The dashboard also shows that of the 180 cases, 168 are from the Lami – Nausori containment area, 11 cases are from the Western Division and one case in Korovou. There have also been 86 recoveries in the last 24...

Fiji 7s star Jerry Tuwai banks on senior players

Fiji 7s captain Jerry Tuwai has revealed that senior players in the team have played an instrumental role to keep the players together as family after being away from their loved one’s for more than three months. The Fijian 7s side moved into camp before the second wave of COVID-19 hit Fiji and since then have been together in camp,...

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