Media have a key role in tuna management: FFA - Solomon Star News

Media have a key role in tuna management: FFA

12 February 2014

THE head of the Forum Fisheries Agency says an informed media can play a key role in helping the public and decision makers to respond effectively to the economic crisis in the Pacific’s albacore long line fisheries.

“In recent weeks, there has been a great deal of media interest in the economic difficulties facing tuna long line fishing vessels in the region. The albacore long line fishery especially, has suffered massive losses in profits. Vessels have been moored to the wharf indefinitely and many workers have been laid off,” said a statement delivered to regional media, on behalf of the FFA Director General, James Movick.

Mr Movick said despite the gains made in developing the region’s fisheries, the region was unable to respond to issues in long line fisheries because of a lack of unified regional cooperative framework.

The FFA is running a ‘Tunanomics’ workshop for the media on reporting on tuna fisheries with the participation of journalists from eight regional countries.

“Through this Tunanomics initiative, my earnest hope is that an informed media will help the public and decision makers to see issues more clearly and objectively.

“Perhaps the media’s scrutiny and coverage of the issues involved will help build understanding of the need, and urgency, to rise above national agendas and act regionally, to respond effectively to the economic crisis in the Pacific’s albacore long line fisheries.

“The time has come to step up the conversations around the economics of tuna and what countries, thinking regionally, are prepared to take—and give—so that we, as a region, can protect our fisheries resource, while achieving our economic aspirations.”

This call was supported by Efstratos Pegidis, head of the European Commissions Office for the Overseas Countries and Territories in the Pacific.

He highlighted the importance of the partnership between FFA, Secretariat of the Pacific Community and EU in fisheries conservation.

“The importance of tuna fisheries resources for the Pacific Islands' is well known. Tuna fisheries provide a vital source of food, employment, recreation, trade and economic well-being for people throughout the Pacific.

“Therefore, every effort should be made to ensure that fisheries activities are conducted in a responsible manner, in order to allow present and future generations to benefit from its exploitation.”

The ‘Tunamonics’ workshop is being staged in run up to the Pacific Islands News Association Summit in Noumea, New Caledonia.

By Evan Wasuka
New Caledonia