“One other thing that we do hold dear is ‘OUR SHARED OCEAN AND ITS RESOURCES’ and it is our identity that has sustained us for generations,” said Koroilavesau.
“There are a few agenda items that Fiji will be addressing which have also been shared by the members of the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) through regional solidarity.”
“Firstly, as an albacore focused fishery, Fiji is determined to finalise the preferred Target Reference Point in recovering the South Pacific Albacore stocks. With the support of the FFA Secretariat, our focus now is on an overall hard limit and a split between these limits between the High Seas and Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ).”
Koroilavesau went on to say that the other priority is seeking to finalise a measure to implement overall hard limits which recognises Zone Based Management, EEZ limits, data collection and reporting requirements until a harvest strategy is agreed upon.
“Secondly, there need to be control measures on efforts in the high seas. as Fiji and countries down south are faced with having to close production lines and tie up domestic vessels due to the lack of tuna caught in our waters,” said Koroilavesau.
“While we are at the tail end of migrating stocks, the increased effort in the high seas, have proved costly to our vulnerable economies.”
“To address this, Fiji is in support of the work done on the provisions of (CMM 2018-01) that commit to limits and an allocation framework for the purse seine and longline fisheries in the high seas.”
“As members of the WCPFC, we have always tried to be proactive and be ahead of our time. In particular, the work done on Electronic Monitoring and Reporting is somewhat
special to most members as it bridges the gaps that exist within administrations or management bodies.”
He went on to say that the coming weeks will see the completion of the FAO funded Electronic Monitoring trials on 50 of Fiji’s longline fishing fleets.
“The information that has been gathered and the analysis that has been made, provides us opportunities to improve on our current coverage and to be more effective in implementing broader MCS priorities.
With the support of FFA and other members, Fiji hopes that we will continue to look ahead to identify minimum standards for Electronic Monitoring while work continues in reviewing data requirements and sources to determine priority gaps.”
Koroilavesau also highlighted on the importance of recognizing the adverse impacts of climate change in
the Western and Central Pacific Region.
“In this regard, Fiji with the support of FFA members are looking to call on the WCPFC, to collectively take stronger action on climate change.”
“Actions that calls for better science, robust measures that help mitigate impacts of climate change and a general reduction to our carbon footprint.”
“It will be amiss on our part if we fail to highlight the needs of Small Island Developing States. In particular, the need for broader consultation when new measures are proposed to the Commission is what we are in need of.
Since Small Island Developing States vary in size and administration capabilities, the lack of consultation has proven costly to most island nations during implementation.”
Koroilavesau ended his statement by saying that the Fiji Delegation is determined to play its part and make hard decisions in this important annual session and hope that members do the same.