Marshall Islands

Big fish harvest anticipated in Marshall Islands

Rongelap Mayor James Matayoshi said this week that the first harvest is just a few weeks away. The fish farming work is being run by the Atoll Technologies of the Marshall Islands or ATMI, a local company in partnership with off-shore investors that was developed by the Rongelap Atoll Local Government with the aim of developing fish farming export ventures on remote atolls around this western Pacific nation.

“I hope over the next three to five years, we will mature as a big company for export markets,” he said. “The market is there in the United States and Asia.”

Small islands call for global moratorium on coal mines

The leaders of the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau and Tuvalu caught up on Monday before the wider 16 nation Pacific Island Forum leaders summit in Papua New Guinea later this week.

They issued a special declaration on climate change that demanded the world limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius and that countries uphold the principle of polluter pays.

Marshall Islands' new ambassador to Taipei takes up post

Fredrick Muller arrived in Taiwan Aug 25 to take up his post as ambassador, said Elliot Charng, director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, at a regular news briefing.

Prior to his posting in Taipei, Muller was his country's ambassador to Fiji, according to the foreign ministry. His previous posts also included serving as a member of the Marshall Islands parliament 2008-2012, the ministry said.

Marshall Islands agencies attempt to block audits

Or they've simply refused to show up to meetings to discuss audit plans.

In a letter last week to the Speaker of the Marshall Islands Parliament, Auditor General Junior Patrick said his office had to resort to issuing subpoenas to obtain routine financial records or in one case to force a local government mayor to show up for an audit meeting.

In delivering his semi-annual report, he told the speaker that the problem of government officials not cooperating with financial accountability requirements is still ongoing.

Pacific tuna catch hits record high

This week's Purse Seine Bigeye Tuna Management Workshop in Majuro was told commercial fishing boats caught over 2.8 million tons of tuna in 2014, an all-time record.

Most of those fish were caught by purse seiners.

The Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority scientist, Berry Muller, says the bigeye tuna catch at 161,299 tonnes was a five percent increase.

He says this maintains bigeye's "over-fished" state.

Marshall Islands and SPREP work together to develop environment documents

Periodic SOE reports serve as a "health check-up" for the environment and environmental services upon which the people of the Marshall Islands depend. The results from these reports feed directly into strategic environmental planning, which seeks to protect the healthy parts of RMI's environmental systems and improve other parts that are in decline.

A two day State of the Environment Report write-shop and National Environmental Management Strategy consultation was held in the Marshall Islands this month.

Marshall Islands floats youth alternative to Pacific's high dependency on aid

But at the Waan Aelon in Majel training centre, the sounds signify more than simply carpenters at work: here, young people who left school before the age of 13 are learning to build outrigger canoes as they immerse themselves in the culture of their ancestors.

“A hundred years ago, everyone had a position in life as fishermen, weavers and local medicine experts,” says Alson Kelen, who has directed the youth programme at the training centre for 20 years. “Everyone participated in the culture. Today, kids are lost – they don’t know where to fit in.”

Marshalls pushes action to cut bigeye tuna catches

“The status quo won’t cut it,” said Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority Director Director Glen Joseph Friday about current levels of fishing for bigeye. “We need to take action now while we have the opportunity or the stock will crash.”

Following repeated scientific reports stating that bigeye is being overfished, “this is a concern that everyone shares,” Joseph said.

“The difficulty is getting everyone to agree on a meaningful measure (to conserve bigeye).”

Australia's weak target on carbon emission, a serious blow to its international reputation: de Brum

de Brum was responding to the release in Australia today that it plans to cut carbon emissions by at least 26 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030. 

“As with Prime Minister Abbott’s attempt to ignore climate change when hosting the G20 last year, this will send a serious shudder through the Pacific and raise concern amongst its closest allies, including the United States and Europe.”

Marshalls hosts 15th Micronesia Presidents Summit

The annual summit of the presidents of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau and the Republic of the Marshall Islands allow them to exchange views and information on national, regional and international issues of interest.

It is also an excellent opportunity for the three presidents to have frank exchanges on how they can better address common concerns and collectively explore solutions.