15 Feb 2016

Focus moves to enforcing guidlines for fisheries observers

9:44 am on 15 February 2016

Fisheries authorities in the Pacific are planning to enforce mandatory guidelines to ensure the safety of fisheries observers.

The guidelines are the outcome of a meeting for Pacific regional observer co-ordinators at the Forum Fisheries Agency in the Solomon Islands capital, Honiara, last week.

The chair of the observer co-ordinators, Monty Depaune, who is the manager of Nauru's Fisheries and Marine Resources Authority, said fishing companies stand to lose their accreditation if they didn't ensure observers' security.

He said the new guidelines included providing observers with two-way communicators and safety beacons when they board vessels.

Mr Depaune said he did not know whether the guidelines had the support of fishing companies, but he said they would not affect the boats.

"We're just tightening up some loose ends where we're increasing our monitoring of our observers in terms of their security and welfare while they're on the boats so this is more about developing an understanding so that they understand their obligations to our observers and what our observers are obligated to do."

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Photo: 123 RF