12 Jul 2004

Solomon Islands called on to be transparent in granting of fishing licences

3:59 pm on 12 July 2004

An advisor on tuna fishing is calling for Solomon Islands to be more transparent when it gives out fishing licences.

A group of advisors for several Pacific organisations is touring the region to help members implement the new Convention on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks such as tuna.

The Solomon Islands signed the convention in September 2000 and ratified it in June 2003.

Ian Cartwright says in Solomon Islands there's a new determination after all the civil unrest to get fishing back under control.

"And key to that will be transparent and effective licensing of vessels, that has to be paramount in that you know if your going to allow say 20 or 30 boats at a particular time or more to fish in your zone, you need to know where they are, what they're doing, that they're reporting accurately and the amount of fish they're taking out is well recorded"

Ian Cartwright says Solomon Islands has also just revived its patrol boat and observer programmes.

The advisory group will also travel to Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu and Vanuatu to assist countries with the new convention.