SOLOMON Islands purse seine tuna fisheries could earn the country US$40 million (approx. SBD$280m) annually if stringent management measures are put into place says the Minister of fisheries John Manenearu.
Minister Manenearu said, investment in strengthening the country’s fisheries management is significant and has huge impact to the economy and people’s livelihood.
“Annual public revenues from purse seine tuna fisheries are projected to increase to at least US$40 million annually by 2020 as management is further strengthened,” Manenearu said.
He said, the longline fisheries also have great potential to provide increased national benefit through better management.
He said, the recently signed Pacific Islands Regional Oceanscape Program (PROP) in partnership with the World Bank will play a significant role in the country’s fisheries management efforts.
Manenearu stressed this program’s goal to invest in better management of this country’s fisheries will increase its comparative advantage in the global market.
“A well-managed tuna resource is more likely to attract new local investment as global tuna processors looks to secure reliable supply,” Manenearu said.
He said, such investment will also safeguard the country’s European tuna market since tuna caught are certified to be caught legally and sustainably.
The fisheries minister added that this PROP project which will run until 2020 will enable the ministry of fisheries and marine resources to;
-obtain real-time information on fishing activities and catch through expanded observer and information management systems;
-strengthen the ministry’s ability to document catches, control product quality and ensure ongoing access of foreign markets;
-conduct the levels of surveillance needed to enforce compliance with fisheries access regulations, and;
-help communities’ better use and sustain coastal resources.
Meanwhile he said, it is the responsibility of the government to manage the use of the country’s tuna resources both to safeguard and to ensure to gain the best possible national benefit from it for this generation and generations to come.
He stressed, that these management measures and its implementation can only be effective through partnership of which he acknowledges development partners such as the World Bank, global environment facility, the forum fisheries agency, other neighbouring countries who are part of PROP and the government.
By DANIEL NAMOSUAIA