Importance of Fisheries in Pacific Highlighted

Director General of Forum Fisheries Agencies (FFA), Mr James Movick in Nauru.

NAURU 4 September – THE Importance of the Pacific Island countries oceanic and fisheries sector interms of social and economic development benefits has been highlighted to the media by the Director General of the Forum Fisheries Agencies (FFA), Mr James Movick in Nauru.

According to Mr. James Movick, the regional ocean has been an fundamental sector and have long been recognized as one of the Pacific Island countries most important natural resources.

“The Pacific Oceanic Fisheries sector is absolutely important interms of the revenues and development opportunities it offers to the respective governments and the population of the Pacific Island countries.

“The coastal fisheries sector is also very important interms of food security, livelihood and employment opportunities at the national level,” the FFA Director General told journalists attending the 49th Pacific Islands Forum Meeting in Nauru.

The Director General (DG) serves as the leader of the FFA Secretariat and is the primary public representative, reporting to the Forum Fisheries Committee (FFC) and Forum Leaders. The DG also works in partnership with the FFC and by direction of Leaders to ensure that the Secretariat fulfils its mission and to create strategies that ensure future success of fisheries management and sector development for the long-term benefits of the membership.

Mr Movick also described other external factors that might cause significant negative impacts among membership countries.

“Fisheries will always be an important aspect or component of the Pacific regional oceans agenda but I think the issues that we begin to face now with regards to other external treats to the fisheries resources are not only through illegal fishing or over fishing but also through pollution and other treats.

“It is through this type of externalities and issues of resource allocations that will increasingly create some tensions within our region and amongst our membership countries,” the FFA Director General said.

The FFA Director General, James Movick and FFA Deputy Director General, Matt Hooper have both arrived over the weekend to attend 4 days (3-6 September 2018) Pacific Islands Forum Leadership Summit.

Millions of people in the Pacific Region —especially the Small Islands States— rely on healthy oceans to provide jobs and food, underscoring the urgent need to sustainably use and protect this natural resource.

Meanwhile, the FFA Director General further stressed his perspective on the coherent and integrated oceans policy aimed for the Pacific region.

“From my perspective, I think that is why am keen to see a very coherent and more integrated oceans policy headed by the political process; because these are ultimately political decisions that need to be taken …so that we can certainly maintain strong interest with Pacific Ocean Commission interms of this coherent policies, whist taking account not only in fisheries but of other ways we can leverage all the tools that are available to us and to ensure we are able to secure this region as well as to know more about it.

“Our maritime boundaries are important and without our maritime boundaries under the current law of the sea convention; we faces a serious threat that is in the event of a sea level rise inundating the baseline points, we can lose that area of jurisdiction.

“Just recently the international association which is an non governmental organisation; the one that does some standing as an observer in the UN process has come out with a recommendation calling on the Secretary General of the United Nations and the UN processes to recognise the rights of the countries that do face the inundation of their baseline points and to recognise their international timeline boundaries so that they can be registered so that they can go forward in an event that may inundated…so hopefully that has some attraction in New York…we look forward to that,” he added.