Public

FFA members make gains at WCPFC committee

POHNPEI, FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA, TUESDAY 6 OCTOBER 2009: At
the Fifth Regular Session of the Technical and Compliance Committee (TCC5) of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) in Pohnpei this week, Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) members advanced recommendations to increase effectiveness of fisheries management in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean.

The Technical and Compliance Committee of WCPFC makes recommendations to the annual meeting of the Commission, to be held in this year in December in French Polynesia. WCPFC membership consists of the 17 members of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency plus 9 other fishing nations. Decisions at WCPFC so far have been made by consensus although there are also provisions for voting.

Outcomes from the meeting include:

ACCESS TO HIGH SEAS DATA

Observers identify needs to implement WCPFC decisions

NOUMEA, NEW CALEDONIA & POHNPEI, FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA, SEPTEMBER 2008: Recent meetings of Fisheries Observers indicate that observers need more support to meet the increasing challenges set by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) which is this week hosting the Technical and Compliance Committee in Pohnpei to discuss increasing observer coverage among other issues.

FFA and SPC coordinated two key observer meetings last month – the Observer Coordinator Workshop (a meeting of national observer
coordinators from 16-18 September 2009) and the Observer Data Management Workshop (a meeting regarding observer reports from 21-24
September 2009) – in Noumea, New Caledonia. A total of 18 people from FFA member countries and 3 people from Hawaii participated in these
key meetings to discuss issues relevant to observer work. Participating organisations included FFA, SPC and NOAA.

Kiribati fines ship $1 million USD following Operation Kurukuru

BETIO, KIRIBATI, 23 SEPTEMBER 2009: The High Court of Kiribati today fined the owner and master of a foreign fishing vessel a total of USD $1 million  for fishing in Kiribati waters without a licence.


The fine came as the High Court handed down its judgment on the prosecution by Kiribati Attorney General of Chung Ching Fu and Sung Hui Ocean Company Ltd, master and owner respectively, of the Vanuatu flagged, longline fishing vessel Sung Hui.

Kiribati court fines ship for illegal activities

BETIO, KIRIBATI, 27 AUGUST 2009: The Kiribati Court of Appeal today fined the owner and master of a ship not licenced to operate in Kiribati waters when it handed down its judgment in the appeal by Athena Shipping and No Euihyeong, owner and master, respectively, of the Hai Soon 28.

On 21 February 2009 Hai Soon 28 was seen unloading fuel to a fishing vessel without a permit. A Kiribati Police Officer, Kiribati Fisheries Officer boarded the Hai Soon 28 from a US Coastguard vessel and brought the ship back to port where it was placed under arrest.

In court, 19 cases of refueling was confirmed and total fines ordered were $380,000 (AUD) for the master and $4,350,000 for the owner.

FFA prepares for WCPFC subcommittee

FFA members will meet in Pohnpei, FSM, from 25-30 September to prepare for the Technical and Compliance Committee Meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.

The Technical and Compliance Committee of WCPFC makes recommendations to the annual meeting of the Commission, to be held in this year in December in French Polynesia. WCPFC membership consists of the 17 members of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency plus 9 other fishing nations. The annual meeting makes conservation and management measures which are legally binding and stipulate rules for fishing in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. For further information about how the WCPFC works see WCPFC factsheets on http://www.ffa.int/gef/factsheets

 

FFA supports development of pole and line fishing in PNG and Solomon Islands through DEVFISH

PACIFIC TUNA FORUM, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, 2-3 SEPTEMBER 2009: FFA’s assistance to PNG and Solomon Islands to help them establish new pole and line fishing ventures is being profiled by the Pacific Tuna Forum today and tomorrow.

FFA Fisheries Development Adviser Robert Stone today presented information about the assistance to a workshop on pole and line fishing, which is being marketed as sustainable fishing to European and British supermarkets. Pole and line fishing is also an industry that creates local employment, on average 10 boats employing 25 crew each catch the same amount of tuna as one purse seiner employing around 12 people.

In Papua New Guinea, FFA, through the EU-funded DEVFISH project, provided a pilot study into the establishment of pole and line fishing including needs such as establishing supplies of bait, infrastructure and processing and marketing opportunities for New Ireland Province.

FFA Fisheries Trade News August 2009

Articles in this month's edition include:
- PNG signs Interim Economic Partnership Agreement, Spanish Industry attempted to scupper global sourcing rules of origin 
- Pacific island countries seek to reframe relations with distant water fishing nations and fleets
- Scientists sign consensus statement on threats to the Pacific Ocean 
- International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) takes action on traceability, tuna stocks and bycatch
- Greenpeace rates fisheries eco-label schemes
- Developments among Spanish tuna firms

Region’s biggest maritime surveillance operation acts to stop illegal fishing

FFA REGIONAL HEADQUARTERS, HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS, FRIDAY 21 AUGUST 2009: Operation Kurukuru 2009, a coordinated maritime surveillance operation in which countries cooperate to detect activities such as illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, smuggling and people trafficking, was hosted by FFA over 10 days.

Operation Kurukuru 2009 resulted in 21 boardings of vessels, levying of a $10,000 fine and 3 apprehensions of vessels which were escorted to port for further investigation. In Tuvalu, 1 vessel was fined USD $10,000 for misreporting of fishing catch. The 4 aircraft involved in the operation flew a total of 85 hours and covered approximately 800,000 square nautical miles.

Scientists discuss tuna stocks at WCPFC subcommittee meeting in Vanuatu

PORT VILA, VANUATU, 10-21 AUGUST 2009:  At the annual meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) Scientific Committee, scientists are discussing the state of tuna and other migratory fish stocks and associated fisheries issues.


Central to the discussions in the meeting of scientists will be a scientific evaluation of the effects of the new WCPFC Conservation and Management Measure on bigeye and yellowfin tuna, which was agreed to in December.  This measure includes a phased-in reduction of long line fishing, a phased in ban on fish aggregating devices (FADs) for 3 months of the year and the closure of two high seas pockets to stop overfishing of bigeye tuna and yellowfin tuna. Many of these measures were previously adopted by a group of FFA Members that are Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA).

FFA participates in Pacific Islands News Association Convention in Vanuatu

PORT VILA, VANUATU, 25-30 July 2009: The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) has been raising awareness of fisheries issues with media attending the conference. At a pre-conference workshop, FFA presented an overview of fisheries including fisheries management, development and control of illegal fishing and the important role of DEVFISH (www.ffa.int/devfish) and the Oceanic Fisheries Management Project (www.ffa.int/gef/) in providing assistance to Pacific Island countries.

FFA also took journalists on a visit to a local tuna processing plant, to demonstrate how the Vanuatu Government is working with industry, and FFA assistance and advice, to increase local jobs and profits from tuna fishing which was covered by Vanuatu television and radio (see http://www.ffa.int/node/256).