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|Thu Dec 26|
ILLEGAL, UNREPORTED AND UNREGULATED FISHING A CONCERN
THE illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing trends continue to be a serious concern in world fisheries because it undermines efforts to conserve and manage fish stocks.
This major concern was raised in the opening remarks by the Ministry of Fisheries and Forests permanent secretary Inoke Wainiqolo, as he chaired the first plenary session of the 3rd African Caribbean Pacific Fisheries meeting in Nadi today.
He said that even though there were moves to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU fishing, he felt this was not enough.
“If the trend is left to continue it can lead to total collapse of fisheries, loss of socio-economic opportunities and seriously affect food security and will benefit those involved in money laundering,” Mr Wainiqolo said.
"The existing international instruments on addressing IUU fishing have not been effective due to lack of political will, capacity and resources to implement these policy measures."
However, he said Fiji had developed a National Plan of Action (NPOA), with the assistance of United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), on IUU fishing based on the provisions of the International Plan of Action.
The NPOA was adopted by Cabinet in 2009 and implemented by the Fisheries Department from December 2010.
“Fiji’s plan of action for illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing has somehow assisted Fiji in identifying gaps within our capacity to address this global phenomena and it needs total commitment from national level and neighbours to effectively address this challenge,” the permanent secretary said.
He told delegates that in the coming week a mission on the EU IUU fishing would be in Suva to look into areas of where they could assist in the implementation of IUU fishing regulations.
The ministers meeting on Monday is preceded by the senior officials meeting at the weekend where they look at various pertinent issues facing the industry.
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