Billions of dollars that was supposed to boost development of pacific islands countries has been lost to illegal fishing activities in our ocean, a Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) Judicial conference had heard.
The conference is currently underway in Honiara started on Monday and will end on Wednesday.
The conference participants mostly high court judges heard the costs of loss to illegal activities is worth more than US$1 billion.
It was also highlighted that under reported catches is estimated to be US$313.42 million, post-harvest risks at US$164.12 million, and breach of license condition estimated at US$117.93 million.
The meeting has emphasized more on strengthening legislations and regulations to crack down on illegal fishing practice in the regional waters, by improving the monitoring and surveillance systems to help secure our Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) from poachers.
Presentation at the conference highlighted the impressive efforts of the region to protect their tuna from over-fishing, hence management frame-work were created by regional and sub-regional bodies to ensure countries sustainably harvest their marine resources, with the aim to achieve maximum economic returns.
The conference further highlighted that pacific countries need to unite and maintain common interest over their marine resources, so that their voice could be powerful in the global arena, when dealing with issues concerning their ocean and their EEZ.
BY AATAI JOHN