Pacific leaders to review fishing agreement

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Pacific ministers will be looking at the return of fisheries resources during the Forum Economic Ministers’ Meeting next week.

Leaders will review a document which was compiled over the last six to 12 months on the independent returns of fisheries resources in the Pacific region.

Speaking to the media on Wednesday this week, Pacific Islands Forum Secretary, Director of Programmes and Initiatives, Zarak Khan said the piece of work was mandated by Pacific leaders back in 2015-2016 as part of the framework for Pacific regionalism to look at fisheries resource economic returns.

“So this is one of the five initial priorities that was articulated and agreed to values, and then asked that after a five year timeframe review be done.

“And the results of that review be conveyed to them with recommendations on how certain specific issues can be addressed, and in a better look through by the regional agencies, but also by the member states themselves.

“So the study has been completed, it’s been presented to the Forum Fisheries Committee Ministers, the fisheries ministers of the region, who have the mandate on fisheries issues and it will also be discussed at the regional fisheries ministers meeting,” he said.

Khan said the economic issues are very much entangled and tied together with fisheries and that the process is part of series of interventions to address the issue.

He explained that the involvement of economic minister in the process is because the of the recommendation highlighted on the reviewed document which required economic ministers so as fisheries ministers to work closely in the future.

Khan said the reviewed document so as the involvement of economic ministers and fisheries ministers in the process is paramount as close to 50 to 60 percent of pacific islands national budgets are financed through fisheries sector (tuna industry).