Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo last night welcomed regional delegates to the 4th Pacific Tuna Forum in Honiara, Solomon Islands.
The 4th Pacific Tuna Forum follows on from the successful hosting of previous forums by Papua New Guinea and Palau who are both Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) member countries.
Prime Minister Lilo said the theme for this tuna forum “Broadening the Tuna Investment in the Pacific” is a true reflection of the aspirations of the PNA and FFA member countries in encouraging more investments in the tuna fishery and the industry sector so that the member countries get maximum benefits from their resources.
He also added that the investor, likewise, will get equal benefits and the guarantee of continued supply of tuna for their processing plants.
On Tuna management, Prime Minister Lilo said it is now known worldwide that Pacific tuna fisheries have been managed on a sustainable basis, as individual countries and collectively through sub-regional groupings such as the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) and regionally, through the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA).
These countries have also agreed to work with their Distant Water Fishing Nations partners to widen the scope of management of tuna and other straddling stocks, particularly in the high sea pockets resulting with the establishment of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).
“Tuna is an important resource for the countries and the people of the Pacific. Not only are these resources a means to earn an income, or create employment but also as a food source throughout generations”.
“It is based on this understanding that we have worked together to manage the tuna fisheries in the Pacific, which is by far the best managed tuna fisheries in the world,” Prime Minister Lilo said.
He said Solomon Islands has put in a lot of sacrifices through the full compliance with its PNA Party Allowable Effort (PAE) and the restrictions taken to limit the long line licenses issued annually in order to control the unsustainable harvesting of its albacore and big eye tuna resources within its EEZ and within the region as a whole.
Solomon Islands as a PNA and FFA member country with strong interest to sustainably develop its domestic tuna industry, is now hosting this year’s Tuna Forum in collaboration with the National Fisheries Authority of PNG and the INFOFISH Secretariat. Solomon Islands and PNG are currently the only members of INFOFISH from the Region.
The Tuna Forum will officially start on Wednesday 18th September.
Press Release, Government Communications Unit (GCU)