by Marie Kauna – EMTV Online, Port Moresby
During the 46th Pacific Islands Forum held in Port Moresby, New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, made an announcement to commit USD $31 million to support the Pacific fisheries sector.
Prime Minister Key said “Fisheries are the most important natural resources for the majority of Pacific nations and more must be done to conserve stocks and boost returns from this resource”.
In a recent report, WWF made a call for immediate measures to begin in order to rescue the Pacific Bluefin Tuna, as the industry was seeing a slight downturn in its outcome production.
Fisheries problems like this have “led the Pacific governments to look for new approaches to lift returns and safeguard fisheries for future generations”, added Key.
A roadmap for sustainable Pacific fisheries was endorsed by the Pacific leaders, which in turn will promote a move towards a catch-based management system for tuna by 2025.
The investment of the USD $31 million will support and transform the sector, and develop a catch-based management system framework to improve legal and management fisheries systems in the region.
New Zealand will also invest in monitoring and enforcement systems that are necessary to protect the Pacific fish stocks.