MEDIA has an important role to play in promoting and reporting sustainable harvesting of the region’s tuna resources.
This is because tuna is the single largest sustainable resource that is available in the region that will continue to support the regional countries and their economies and food security in the years to come, if properly managed and controlled.
Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) director Dr Transform Aqorau highlighted the message early this week at the two-day media training organised by PNA in collaboration with Pew Charity Trusts.
The training brought together seven senior regional business/economic journalists and editors, tuna experts, representatives from Trimarine International, Pacific Islands Tuna Industry Association, Tuna Global Conservation of Pew Charity Trusts, Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and PNA officials.
It was organised so that media personnel can better understand the current and potential value of tuna resources, as well as the impact of policy, share information and experiences.
Not only that but to connect journalists with experts through dynamic presentations and discussions and to formulate an action plan for reporting on the link between tuna policy and the tuna industry and markets, including sharing information across the media networks.
The PNA boss said his organisation recognises the important role that media has in promoting the work of PNA in the region in control the harvesting of tuna resources in the region.
“Media’s role is important to promote our work so that everyone can see the importance of PNA in setting the numbers of how many days a fishing boat can fish in the PNA waters.”
He added that PNA will continue to support the work of media in the region through its own communication strategy.
This week’s media training was the second after the first one was organised in 2012 in Honiara.
PNA comprised of eight Pacific Island Countries (PIC) that control the world’s largest sustainable tune purse seine fishery.
PNA owns the largest healthy tuna population in the world and supplies 50 percent of the world’s skipjack tuna (a popular tuna for canned products).
PNA has been a champion for marine conservation and management, taking unilateral action to conserve overfished big-eye tuna in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean, including closures of high seas pockets, seasonal bans on use of Fish Aggregating Devices (FAD), satellite tracking of boats, 100 percent observer coverage of purse seiners, closed areas for conservation, mesh size regulations, tuna catch retention requirements, fixed limits on fishing effort, prohibitions against targeting whale sharks, shark action plans, and other conservation measures to protect the marine eco-system.
And because of the enormous task ahead for PNA in the region, Dr Aqorau said there is a need for fisheries journalism so that more reporters can create awareness about the importance of conservation and sustainable tuna harvesting.
This is to allow the local rural people in the region to realise the importance of the tuna resource in the Pacific, he added.
The PNA boss also took the opportunity in thanking the journalists who have attended the training.
By MOFFAT MAMU
in Suva, Fiji