31 August, 2012
Pacific fisheries and oceans get $10m boost
New Zealand will commit NZ$50 million over the next three years to support Pacific fisheries and oceans, Prime Minister John Key announced today.
Mr Key, who is in Rarotonga at the Pacific Islands Forum, says this represents $10 million over and above existing commitments.
“The region faces challenges to sustainably develop what is its single most important resource for food security, livelihoods and economic development.”
The theme of this year’s Forum has been protecting oceans and ensuring Pacific countries get maximum value from their fisheries resource.
“The stakes are high,” says Mr Key. “The Pacific is the last great ocean on the planet not yet overfished. Its waters now account for two-thirds of the value of the global tuna catch.
“In our year as Forum Chair, we have been encouraged by the progress the region is making in lifting returns to tuna fisheries and improving conservation and management.
“Building on these successes, New Zealand is committing additional support to increase returns from tuna resources, boost employment, and support sustainable development of fisheries resources.”
The support will target regional management of longline tuna resources, facilitate high quality investments in Pacific fisheries sectors, strengthen the science that underpins fisheries management decisions, and implement best practice to manage local fish stocks and a healthy coastal environment.
New Zealand has helped the region achieve its priorities through our work in the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, on maritime surveillance, and through funding for fisheries science and training Pacific Islanders.
“The good management of this resource is in the best interests of all Pacific people and New Zealand will continue to offer its support and knowledge.”