27 Sep 2012

Marshalls President says Pacific aspirations undermined by others' self interest

7:03 pm on 27 September 2012

The President of the Marshall Islands has told the United Nations General Assembly that decades of global lip-service to sustainable development seems to be lost on the Pacific's fishing partners.

World leaders are meeting in New York, with Pacific leaders highlighting climate change and sustainable development.

Christopher Loeak told the meeting that Pacific aspirations are often undermined by the narrow commercial self-interest of other nations.

"Our collective Pacific development is the very hope and economic survival of our entire nation, and indeed the whole Pacific region. We realise only a penny of true benefit for every dollar of fishing activity, and despite scientific warning, pressure on key fish stocks has only increased."

Christopher Loeak says it remains to be seen if key distant-water fishing nations will join with Pacific countries in forging a landmark sustainable fishery.