In its bid to promote tuna fishing as a viable investment project, Government is looking at managing the tuna sector in a more sustainable way.

Ministry of Fisheries & Forestry permanent secretary Inoke Wainiqolo said that Fiji, as signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the UN Fish Stocks Agreement and the Convention on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean [WCPO], remains committed to implementing relevant provisions effectively.

“Fiji is finalising its Offshore Fisheries Legislation which means this legislation is to replace certain provisions of the current Fisheries laws and strongly emulates these mentioned conservation based international instruments.

“Fiji has recently been assessed to be conforming to all applicable Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission [WCPFC] Conservation and Management measures”.

On top of this, Fiji is engaged in formulating its National Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks, which uses the Food and Agricultural Organisation International Plan of Action for Sharks as the guiding principles.

“The Pacific Island States and Territories are highly reliant on the sustainable use of its marine living resources for economic wellbeing and meeting nutritional requirements,” Mr Wainiqolo said.

Mr Wainiqolo highlighted Article 30 of the WCPFC Convention which encourages full recognition to the special requirements of Pacific Island States and Territories.

The Government of Fiji has joined others in congratulating the initiative taken and the understanding shown by Korea in fostering collaborative efforts with the Pacific Island States and Territories.

Fiji anticipates the assistance in areas of human resource development of our nationals, gear technology, new market access, joint monitoring, control and surveillance initiatives, aquaculture development and community based fisheries management.