Pacific fisheries

Pacific fisheries ministers to meet virtually

The ministers will consider how to sustain the livelihood of observers, given that they have been kept off purse seiners because of the coronavirus.

The director general of the Forum Fisheries Agency, Manu Tupou-Roosen, said the pandemic had significantly affected fishing, particularly its monitoring, control and surveillance.

However the pandemic had helped the sector to recognise the value of improving broadband capabilities in the region, Dr Tupou-Roosen said

Autonomous sea craft to police Pacific fisheries

As well as detecting illegal fishing, the Proteus can also help with search and rescue by deploying life rafts, and assess cyclone damage to remote islands by launching aerial drones.

The Proteus is also fitted with sensors that can be used for scientific research, for which it can maintain a stationary, or "geosynchronous" position.

X-craft chief executive Philip Solaris said for a decade his firm had advocated that robotic systems were "the most cost effective" method of surveillance and enforcement of maritime boundaries.

SPC warns of threat to fisheries from Covid-19

The director of the SPC's fisheries division, Neville Smith, said they were working to minimise the impact on the tuna fishery, the coastal fishery and on aquaculture.

Mr Smith said exports from fisheries and Pacific food security were now more important than ever.

He said fisheries observers not being able to travel, along with port closures, were a threat to the finances of the hugely important tuna fishery.

Covid-19: Pacific fisheries surveillance continuing amid pandemic

That comes as the agency prepares to wrap up the multi-country surveillance, Operation Rai Balang, on Friday.

The two-week operation saw coordinated air and surface surveillance assets from eight Pacific Island countries and four regional defence partners covering 14.1 million square kilometres of ocean.

There were 108 sightings and 24 ships boarded during the operation.

No illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing was detected, which the agency said was a sign the region's strict regulations and surveillance measures were working.

Call for Pacific regional fisheries committee to ban trans-shipping

The Pew Charitable Trust said tens of millions of dollars each year was lost to the practice of offloading catch before it reached its final destination.

A 2016 survey found that dozens of vessels were likely carrying out unauthorised trans-shipment in the Pacific.

Lead author Mark Young said the commission needed to introduce stronger monitoring processes, including mandatory fishing observers.

Overwhelmed Pacific fisheries officials seek help

As the Pacific nations have taken a greater part in the fisheries sector in the region there has been a substantial increase in reporting required by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.

The Commission's Technical and Compliance Committee is meeting this week in Majuro and our correspondent there, Giff Johnson, says the burden from a lack of capacity is a key issue being raised.

Pacific fisheries surveillance finds no breaches

The exercise, the third this year and called Operation Island Chief, aimed to detect, deter, report and/or apprehend potential illegal, unregulated or unreported fishing activity.

Using boats and aircraft it covered more than 16.5 million square kilometres of ocean and found no infringements or breaches.

The Pacific's 10 Forum Fisheries Agency member nations were involved, along with Australia, New Zealand, France and the United States.


More restrictions possible for foreign fleets fishing the Pacific

The comments come as the annual meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, or Tuna Commission, takes place in Pasay City in the Philippines.

The FFA's director-general, James Movick, said it was too early to tell how much fish could be caught on the high seas and action needed to be taken to ensure the rest of the world held off on overfishing.

PNA looks to improve relations with other Pacific agencies

The PNA is made up of eight countries, plus Tokelau, and controls much of the Pacific's tuna resources.

It has taken an aggressive approach and in seven years increased revenue eight fold.

The PNA intends maintaining this drive but the chief executive Ludwig Kumoru says they also wanted to improve links with organisations like the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission and the Pacific Forum Fisheries agency.

Pacific leaders urged to pressure Vietnam on poaching issue

This comes after reports that Vietnam has been receptive to complaints from Australia about the poachers while being dismissive of the complaints from Pacific countries.

Government officials of affected countries, (including Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and the Marshall Islands), were hosted in Australia this week by the Forum Fisheries Agency and the Pacific Community to try and come up with a consolidated regional approach to the poaching.