Pacific Island Nations Urged to Protect Tuna

By Sasha Pei-Silovo – EM TV Online

The Chairman of the Pacific Islands Tuna Association, Adrian Wickham, has urged Pacific nations to protect the tuna found in their waters.

He says that the global demand for tuna has made tuna a powerful commodity for Pacific countries; and leaders must ensure that control measures are set in place, for the fishing of tuna.

In an interview with Radio Australia’s Tok Pisin service, Wickham said that developed and rich countries the world were more concerned with extracting tuna from the Pacific; he said that islanders must take the lead in protecting marine resources for the future.

Wickham, also the managing director of Soltuna Cannery in the Solomon Islands, said that countries party to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) and Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) must protect their oceans.

The subregional Nauru Agreement outlines terms and conditions for tuna purse seine fishing licences in the Pacific. The Parties to the Nauru Agreement include Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Nauru, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau, and Tuvalu.

This Agreement has 3 Implementing Arrangements which set out specific rules for fishing in these countries; aimed at sustainably managing tuna and increase economic benefits for the people.

Countries party to the PNA own waters which supply 25% of the world’s tuna, an estimated $2 billion worth of fish every year.

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