Tuna a hot topic at meeting of Pacific fisheries officials in Australia
Fisheries ministers from countries belonging to the Forum Fisheries Agency are meeting in Australia this week to discuss the future of tuna fisheries under increasing pressure from overfishing.
The 17-member FFA helps to manage fisheries in the Pacific Ocean, with specific emphasis on the marine economic zones of Pacific Island countries. It provides strategic fisheries management advice on the management of fish stocks, monitoring, and surveillance of fishing activities and trade and market access for its members.
Australia’s assistant minister for agriculture and water resources, Anne Ruston, opened the 14th Forum Fisheries Committee Ministerial Meeting in Mooloolaba, Queensland, Australia by pledging in-depth conversations on the sustainable management of fisheries in the Pacific, particularly tuna fisheries.
“In 2015, the global tuna catch was valued at around USD 4.8 billion (EUR 4.2 billion) and almost half of this was caught in the waters of Forum Fisheries Agency member nations, including Australia,” Ruston said. “These tuna fisheries are an important economic resource for Pacific Island nations and it is vital for the future of these nations that they are managed sustainably.
Ruston said hoped the meeting could help create an outline for the FFA’s agenda for the next year, including priorities for the 14th Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, according to the Australian Fisheries Management Authority.
”Australia is very keen to work with our partners in the Pacific and our fellow FFA members to ensure fish stocks in the region are managed sustainably for the benefit of all,” Ruston said. “Australia will seek to ensure that the FFA Secretariat continues to follow good governance principles to help support a thriving industry that will provide tuna now and in the future.”