Toktok session of the Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) held at the Mendana Hotel yesterday, highlights issues of fisheries and challenges ahead facing the island nations and their marine resources.
This was revealed during the discussion facilitated by high profile representatives from pacific countries and regional organisations.
Discussion was constructively mediated under the topic ‘Harnessing Ocean Wealth, Guaranteeing Ocean Health,” which shows some academics raising questions, including the Prime Minister (PM) of the host country Manasseh Sogavare.
During the discussion Party to Nauru Agreement (PNA) rep Transform Aqorau pointed out that 60% of Pacific Tuna is exported outside of the region.
He pointed out that this shows our fisheries industry has the huge potential to drive economic activities and leads the growth of island nations’ economy.
He said PNA wants to see island nations benefit more from the ocean resources, by striving to maximise returns earned from tuna.
He also revealed that encouraging investors to operate on our shores is what many countries expected, but looking at other means of maximising benefits from license fees and the Vessel Day Scheme (VSD) provides opportunity for island nations to sustainably managed their tuna resource.
He added that pacific islands need to sort out their differences and unite to face the world when dealing with their marine resources, demanded by Distant Water Fishing Nations (DWFN).
By AATAI JOHN