Good management of fish is key to self-determination, summit told

The National, Thursday July 14th, 2016

THE sustainable management of fish is key to self-determination for Pacific people, a Pacific leaders summit has been told.
Leaders’ Summit was told on Tuesday.
Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) chief executive officer Dr Transform Aqorau challenged Pacific Island Development Forum leaders to obtain “true independence” by self-determination, indigenous management of ocean resources, south-south cooperation and ending donor dependency.
“We must manage our ocean resources to promote self-determination and not perpetuate dependency on others,” he said.
“Let us manage our oceans and harness our natural resources to create a sense of self-reliance.
“The PNA has transformed fisheries rights from a market controlled by others to a market where rights are firmly held in favour of our members.”
The PNA established the Vessel Day Scheme where a set number of fishing days were traded and sold. This enabled the control of tuna supply and increased revenue from tuna fishing.
Aqorau highlighted the benefits to the tiniest player in the PNA – Tokelau.
It was only getting US$900,000 annually from foreign fishing vessels accessing their waters.
Now, as part of PNA, Tokelau gets around US$10 million (K31 million a year in revenue from fisheries.
Kiribati for a long time received around US$26 million (K81 million a year. It now earns around US$200 million (K621 million) per year.
He told the leaders that Pacific countries needed to manage natural resources and oceans sustainably.
He said there was threats from outside the region of powerful states who wanted to undermine the progress Parties to the Nauru Agreement had made so far.