FSM Minister says GEF support critical Pacific Islands manage 25 million sq km of ocean

MADANG, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, SEPTEMBER 2010: The Minister of Environment in the Federated States of Micronesia has made a strong and urgent statement to support the continuation of GEF funding for the Pacific Islands Oceanic Fisheries Management Project.

Honorable Andrew Yatilman, Director of the Office of Environment and Emergency Management, Government of the Federated States of Micronesia, told fellow Ministers it is critical that ongoing GEF support be provided if the small island developing states of the region are to continue to make gains to control their 25 million square kilometres of ocean.

In thanking the Global Environment Facilty (GEF), he said: “The waters of the Pacific Island countries are home to the world’s largest stocks of tuna and related pelagic species and they are custodians of a significant part of the Earth’s major international waters ecosystems, a significant global responsibility for some of the smallest nations on the earth.

Operation Island Chief conducts surveillance across PNG,FSM, RMI, Nauru and Kiribati waters

FFA REGIONAL HEADQUARTERS, HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS, TUESDAY 24 AUGUST 2010: This year's Operation Island Chief, a surveillance operation involving Papua New Guinea, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Kiribati and the United States of America, coordinated by the FFA Regional Fisheries Surveillance Centre, ended yesterday with success in the region's activities to deter illegal fishing.

Over the past 7 days, Pacific patrol boats, US Coast Guard vessels and a US Navy aircraft have surveyed approximately 12,000,000 square kilometers of ocean, sighting numerous vessels and checking their compliance with a range of fisheries regulations.  

Approximately 200 people were involved in the surveillance effort and 350 fishing vessels were monitored during the operation, 99 vessels were sighted and 20 boarded.