Tuna workshop aims at strengthening better fisheries management
Statistics indicate that there is a great need to continuously improve tuna sustainable management within the Pacific Region.
This is a goal for Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) member states, which are part of the Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ) Tuna Management Workshop, which is currently being held in Nadi from the 20th-21st February, 2018.
In opening the event, Fiji’s Minister for Fisheries, Semi Koroilavesau, said for many Pacific nations, tuna fisheries have significant biological, economic and cultural values.
“According to the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation, only Skipjack out of the five key tuna stocks managed by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) passed against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard for sustainable fishing.”
“The reason the other four stocks failed was because, we as a group have not adopted and implemented well defined harvest control values, which are key element of harvest strategies. And this workshop is therefore an excellent opportunity for us to learn and be motivated to progress the WCPFC harvest strategy work plan,”Koroilavesau added.
The Executive Director for the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) Mr Feleti Teo adds there is a great need to protect the region’s tuna fisheries as it produces around 2.7 million metric tons of the global tuna production.
“This workshop is to accelerate the development of tuna harvest strategies within the WCPFC by supporting directly the ongoing work in that area. Harvest strategy approaches to the management of the key fisheries and stock in WCPO is a high priority of the WCPFC,” Teo highlighted.
However, the Executive Director added it also takes time and extensive resources to progress the industry’s development given the multifaceted character of the fisheries in the WCPO.
The ABNJ Tuna Management workshop compliments the capacity building rendered to WCPFC members and WWF-Pacific’s Sustainable Fisheries and Seafood Programme Manager, Duncan Williams adds it will also assist the participants and most importantly Commission members to understand and appreciate the value of robust and well tested harvest strategies.
“The workshop is using innovative and ‘hands on’ simulation tools and participants will learn how management strategies evaluations (MSEs) can test and contribute to the development of robust control rules within an overall harvest strategy approach,” Williams said.
The two-day event is organized by Fiji’s Ministry of Fisheries and WWF; with financial support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) ABNJ project.
Around forty participants from Fiji, and the Pacific region are part of the workshop that is being held at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi.