Tokelau conference on rogue fishing

Experts to review strategy on MCS, IUU

Officials for the Pacific’s leading forum for high-level fisheries dialogue, the Forum Fisheries Committee head to Tokelau this month for an in-depth look at current and future developments in the sector. The 89th meeting of the annual FFA governing council of officials have a full agenda, including key outcomes from a recent regional meeting on Monitoring Control and Surveillance, or MCS, aimed at stopping rogue fishing in the region. Effectively using and pooling national resources to fight Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing is a major issue for Pacific nations keen to ensure effective scientific data coverage for sound conservation management and the best economic gains from the offshore fishing and onshore processing sector, says the FFA. As part of ensuring members are able to share progress and build on common ground, the Agency’s Conference Centre hosted a record series of back-to-back meetings including the 17th session of the MCS working group on 24-29 March. The outcomes are part of this month’s FFC and will feed into the July ministers’ meeting as Pacific nations juggle their national priorities for offshore fisheries against a backdrop of regional commitments and agreements. “Offshore fisheries and the impacts on national economies and development is a fast-changing and complex field, and calls for management that is dynamic and well resourced,” says FFA Director-General James Movick. “For developing Pacific nations, especially small island nations such as Tokelau, the benefits of a regional approach to prevent, detect and eliminate IUU fishing in our region are clear.”

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