Pacific Fisheries thrown lifeline

By Ripeka Timutimu

Pacific nations have agreed to move toward more sustainable fisheries in the future at the 46th Pacific Islands Forum in Port Moresby.

The New Zealand Government will contribute $50 million over the next three years to build more sustainable and profitable Pacific fisheries. 

New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key says, "fisheries are the most important natural resource of the Pacific and more must be done to conserve stocks and boost returns." 

In a press conference last night, President of Kiribati, Anote Tong outlined his concerns over the dwindling fish stocks.

"We have always had concerns about vessel based system was a bit dangerous because we are having reports of overfishing and with the technology becoming the vessel based scheme was getting a bit dangerous in terms of sustainability."

Mr Key said, "Pacific leaders have endorsed 'A Roadmap for Sustainable Pacific Fisheries' which promotes a move towards a catch based management system for tuna by 2025. New Zealand has experience in implementing catch-based management systems and we have committed to sharing our knowledge and experience with the Pacific."

The Premier of Niue, Toke Talagi says the Pacific are missing out on profits "The idea that we should be just using vessel based schemes is nonsense you can pay $15000 for fishing but you could catch about $100,000 so what's that, it's disproportionate."

The New Zealand Government will fund the initiative for the next three years.