To further strengthen and improve the level of awareness and understanding of Pacific tuna fisheries, Pacific civil society and non-governmental organisations over the next three days, will undergo discussions on regional oceanic fisheries governance, management and policy in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean.

According to WWF-Pacific’s sustainable fisheries and seafood programme manager, Duncan Williams, the CSO roundtable discussions will further build capacity of Pacific CSOs and NGOs on the current environment, economic and social issues related policy and institutional arrangements for managing Pacific tuna fisheries, to also identify challenges faced by participating organizations in engaging with the tuna fisheries sector.

“Participation of non-governmental interests in international fisheries management processes tend to come only from developed countries. This to a certain degree disadvantages Pacific countries and communities where civil society does not have the resources or technical understanding of the fishery and its management and this workshop is one of several initiatives by WWF-Pacific aimed at ensuring that Pacific Island NGOs and CSOs improve their capacity and awareness on issues and management arrangements in order to engage effectively in regional oceanic fisheries policy,” highlighted Williams.

The three day discussions at Suva’s Tanoa Hotel will see around 25 regional participants take part in discussions that will be facilitated by former Deputy Director General of the Forum Fisheries Agency Ian Cartwright.

The discussions will enhance awareness and understanding of  the  network  of  fisheries  management arrangements in the Pacific and opportunities for engagement by Pacific Island nationals including NGOs.

Discussions will also enhance the understanding of participants of the current status of oceanic fisheries, fisheries  management  issues,  and  the  importance  of maintaining  healthy  marine  ecosystems,  with  an  emphasis  on  fish  stocks  and habitats.

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