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Republic of the Marshall Islands hosts successful regional maritime surveillance operation

MAJURO, MARSHALL ISLANDS: The 6th Operation Bigeye, 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 the Marshall Islands during the past two weeks.

Approximately 200 personnel from a variety of Southwest Pacific nations were actively involved in Operation Bigeye which resulted in locating over 500 foreign fishing vessels in the area of operations, 30 of which were considered worthy of further investigation and boarded after further analysis.  Eight Patrols Boats were at sea throughout the operation supported by a US Coastguard C130 Surveillance aircraft. 

Covering an area of 2 million square nautical miles - including the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) of Marshall Islands, Kiribati, FSM, Palau, Nauru and PNG – Operation Bigeye 2009 involved surveillance and law enforcement staff from all of these countries work

FFA FISHERIES TRADE NEWS OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 2009

 

FFA FISHERIES TRADE NEWS

Volume 2: Issue 10 & 11 October-November 2009

By Elizabeth Havice, Amanda Hamilton and Liam Campling [1]

 

Contents 

Special Feature: The Global Recession and EU- and US-centred seafood value chains


Fisheries Trade-related Regulation

EU releases Implementation Rules and practical guide to IUU Regulation

Fijiís ongoing struggle to regain EU market access

PNA Office established in Marshall Islands


Fisheries Trade and Development

Local Protests over PNGís Pacific Marine Industrial Zone

Greenpeace action in the WCPO

DEVFISH Project Closure Meeting

The DEVFISH Project Closure Meeting, held 23-24 November, Nadi, Fiji celebrated the achievements of the project, funded by the European Union, and discussed current industry and fisheries development priorities for any future potential assistance from implementing agencies Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) and Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).

DEVFISH creates economic benefits for Pacific Islands

NADI, FIJI, MONDAY 23 NOVEMBER: As the Steering Committee for DEVFISH met today, a publication was launched profiling achievements of the
project. The Development of Tuna Fisheries in the Pacific ACP Countries Project (DEVFISH) is a European Union funded regional project, which encourages and guides governments to make policy changes that can make it easier for local Pacific fishing industries to grow and profit.

DEVFISH, implemented by the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) and Secretariat for Pacific Community (SPC), supports fisheries
development to increase income, jobs and food security from fishing for Pacific Islanders. While in the past, Pacific Islands have relied on foreign fishing access fees for income. For example, Pacific Island countries catch just $600 million worth of tuna from its fisheries while foreign nations fishing in the same waters catch over $2 billion.

Pacific Islands Regional Plan of Action (PI-RPOA) on Sharks launched by FFA, SPC and SPREP

PACIFIC ISLANDS, MONDAY 9 NOVEMBER 2009: The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) today launched the Pacific Islands Regional Plan of Action (PI-RPOA) on Sharks*.
At least 80 species of sharks and rays occur within the Pacific Islands region. Around half of these species are considered to be highly migratory, therefore fishing impacts upon them must be internationally managed. Due to their low productivity and long life span, these species are particularly vulnerable to overexploitation. Sharks and rays are also of cultural significance to many Pacific Island communities.
 

Key fisheries meetings outcomes – Management Options Consultation and Forum Fisheries Committee

NADI, FIJI & HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS OCTOBER 2009: The regional headquarters of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA)
hosted 3 key meetings last week – the sixth Management Options Consultation to develop FFA positions for the Western and Central
Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) meeting, the Special Forum Fisheries Committee to approve these decisions as well as deliberate
on other strategic issues.

MANAGEMENT OPTIONS CONSULTATION AND SPECIAL FFC

FFA members participated in the Management Options Consultation where countries work cooperatively to draft proposals and negotiating
positions for the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). This meeting, coordinated by FFA, is in part funded by the
Global Environment Facility Pacific Islands Oceanic Fisheries Management Project.

These management recommendations were then brought to the 71st Officials Forum Fisheries Committee (FFC) for further discussion and

Key fisheries meetings outcomes – Oceanic Fisheries Management Project Regional Steering Committee

The 5th Regional Steering Committee was held on 7 November 2009, the final steering committee meeting for the project which ends its first phase in December 2010. Achievements of the Project were detailed in science, fisheries management and fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance.

Discussions on a potential second phase of the Oceanic Fisheries Management Project agreed:
•    that the contribution of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) towards assisting Pacific SIDS in oceanic fisheries management was invaluable and much had been achieved under the current project phase;
•    that the concept for a further phase of the project support by GEF needed to be ready for an early as possible submission to minimise the impacts of the gap between the current project and the next phase on the delivery of priority activities

Pacific Islands Regional Plan of Action (PI-RPOA) on Sharks

At least 80 species of sharks and rays occur within the Pacific Islands region. Around half of these species are considered to be highly migratory, therefore fishing impacts upon them must be internationally managed. Due to their low productivity and long life span, these species are particularly vulnerable to overexploitation. Sharks and rays are also of cultural significance to many Pacific Island communities.
 
The PI-RPOA Sharks is a response to both the International Plan of Action (IPOA) for the Conservation and Management of Sharks, which encourages assessments and management of shark fisheries, and to the Conservation and Management Measure (CMM) for Sharks adopted by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), requires Commission members to set management arrangements for sharks.

Key fisheries meetings outcomes – US Treaty, Billfish Committee and SPRFMO

NADI, FIJI & HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS OCTOBER 2009: FFA participated in a number of key meetings this month, outcomes from which are detailed below.

US TREATY
The regional headquarters of FFA, Honiara, Solomon Islands, hosted the Special Pacific Islands Parties Internal Meeting on 28 October and the 1st Renegotiation Session of the Multilateral Treaty on Fisheries Between Certain Governments of the Pacific Island States and the Government of the United States of America (commonly referred to as the "US Treaty") from 29-30 October 2009.

Initial exchange of views and discussions were positive. The Pacific Island Parties and the US expressed a shared interest in renegotiation on three key elements - licensing arrangements including financial and economic aspects, the fishing opportunities available to US flagged vessels and the duration of an extension of the Treaty arrangements which are due to expire in June 2013.

Pacific Islanders achievements in driving international tuna commission highlighted at UNDP-GEF conference

CAIRNS, AUSTRALIA, MONDAY 26 OCTOBER 2009: As the 5th Biennial GEF International Waters Conference hosted in Cairns opened today, participants heard about the remarkable achievements of Pacific Island countries in fisheries management.

Even though Pacific Island countries have limited resources spread over a marine area 30 million square kilometers, they have been at the forefront of developing innovative measures to manage fishing including the establishment of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).

The WCPFC, an international commission to set rules for fishing tuna in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean, has taken several measures to manage the tuna stocks such as cuts to bigeye tuna fishing, fishing observers, vessel monitoring system, closing some high seas pockets and introducing measures on sharks, seabirds and turtles.