Pacific wants action on fisheries


PACIFIC Island Forum leaders have called for action on issues affecting the fisheries sector in the region, in particular illegal fishing which is starving marine stocks.
Forum chairman Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said fisheries was the most important sector for any island nation and the leaders were working to make the sector more fair and transparent.
“Leaders have called for greater action in dealing with illegal unregulated unreported fishing and related activities taking place in our waters,” O’Neill said.
“Illegal fishing is stealing millions of dollars in fisheries revenue, is damaging marine ecosystems and is involved in other disgusting activities such as human-trafficking.
“Leaders are encouraging the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency to ensure the rapid implementation of the Tokelau Arrangement.
“We also urge flag states to exercise greater diligence in carrying out their responsibilities and the control of nationals on vessels. It is obvious to any observer that around the region there is corruption in the fisheries sector, and we are going to stamp this corruption out. As a region, we will get on top of these illegal activities and deliver greater returns to our people.”
The forum leaders also acknowledged the positive outcomes from the final renegotiation session of the treaty between the United States of America and some Pacific Island nations.

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