AN independent study conducted by the Forum Fisheries Agency Ministerial Review has found that the Pacific loses US$123 million in revenue from Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported Fishing (IUU).
The revelation was made by Forum Fisheries Agency Director General James Movick while opening the FFA judicial conference in Honiara, Monday.
“Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported Fishing continues to be an ongoing challenge in our region.
“It undermines all conservation and management efforts and robs our people of important revenue.
“However, the FFA has just completed a Ministerial review of our fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance mechanisms, as tasked by our Forum Leaders,” said Mr Movick.
Ministers welcomed the review and work done towards combatting Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUU Fishing) in the Pacific region.
“It is crucial that all who may come across current and emerging technologies in their work have the opportunity to discuss and fully understand such technologies, he said.
Mr Movick said one of the inputs to that Ministerial Review was an independent study that has more reliably analysed and quantified the nature and extent of IUU fishing in the FFA member region.
“That study revealed that the value of product associated with some form of IUU fishing in our region is $US616 million, of which about $123 million is lost economic rent – or money that could have come to PIC treasuries.
“While this scale of IUU and its economic impact on PICs is significantly less than had previously been estimated, it nonetheless is still a sizeable amount and we must continue to efficiently utilise our current monitoring, control and surveillance tools as well as keep improving or progressing new and innovative methods to combat IUU Fishing,” he explained.
Mr Movick said FFA recognisethe crucial role of the judiciary in interpreting the law and administering justice according to the law.
“As we improve on our current technologies and develop new technologies we need to be sure that our legal frameworks to utilise those technologies are updated, and sound. We welcome your discussions from your own expert perspectives on such technologies.
“Your comments, insights and questions will assist us to help our members to develop suitable national legislature and regulations that underpin the successful application of these new tools to successful protection of our sovereign rights and laws.
“We welcome the opportunity for an enhanced understanding of such technologies by this high-level forum, and your elucidation of issues that we should consider,” he said.