Pacific nations keep focus on IUU fishing: Monitoring, Control, Surveillance sessions begin

3 April  2017 FFA HQ SOLOMON ISLANDS A who’s who of Pacific Fisheries is  continuing to pour into Honiara this week for the annual series of Monitoring, Control and Surveillance sessions tackling Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing in the Pacific tuna fishery.

The main session of the four back to back regional fisheries meets which began last week will be the 20th session of the Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Working Group, now underway. This meeting of MCS practitioners across the Pacific runs parallel to the working group of the QUADS-the Quadrilateral Defence Coordinating group from Australia, France, NZ and the US, which provides direct networking and coordination sessions for all FFA member nations.

 “The MCS working group and the parallel Operational working group provides a fantastic platform for direct networking between our members and the combined QUAD, to explore surveillance opportunities and priorities for individual nations and has led to more increased awareness and efficiency in this regard,” says FFA Director General James Movick.

Other sessions related to the core theme of preventing, detecting and eliminating IUU fishing in the Pacific include:

 a.)  National compliance and Risk Assessment training, to boost self-assessment risk reporting skills for national Fisheries Monitoring, Control and Surveillance work and provide a more efficient ‘fit’ between national MCS regimes and a revised Regional MCS Strategy.

 b.) Niue Treaty Subsidiary Agreement training, to highlight opportunities in Fisheries surveillance cooperation between FFA members, from the Niue Treaty Subsidiary Agreement, as well as the Niue Treaty Information System which rolls out how countries will cooperate when it comes to sharing information and MCS resources against IUU fishing.

 c.)  3rd Regional Information Management Systems training, which supports efficient coordination of the FFA Information Management System for Pacific Fisheries under the Regional Information Management Facility.  

 Welcoming all Pacific delegates to the FFA HQ in the Solomon Islands, DG Movick says the meetings provide a level of expertise and capacity building to officials aimed at identified needs and priorities within the regional MCS strategy.

 “It’s important to recognise that just as the fishery itself is dynamic and evolving, the approaches and solutions from Pacific nations committed to sustainable fisheries must hit the same pace,” says DG Movick.

 “Whether it be asserting economic rights over their exclusive economic zones and sharing information and resources to keep Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing out of the Pacific, Fisheries administrations in the Pacific have a proven record of leading from the front on regional cooperation for sustainable fisheries management.”

 He says the annual Monitoring Control and Surveillance working group and related meetings underway in Honiara  continue to support that trend, aligned to key goals of the Pacific Future of Fisheries Roadmap and Coastal and Tuna Fisheries Report Cards endorsed by Pacific Fisheries Ministers, and then Forum Leaders, in 2015.-ENDS

 

 ABOUT FFA:

The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) strengthens national capacity and regional solidarity so its 17 members can manage, control and develop their tuna fisheries now and in the future. Based in Honiara, Solomon Islands, FFA's 17 Pacific Island members are Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.  Since 1979, FFA has facilitated regional cooperation so that all Pacific countries benefit from the sustainable use of tuna – a multi-billion dollar resource important for many people’s livelihoods in the Pacific.