18 Mar 2016

Pacific countries can't combat illegal fishing alone

1:49 pm on 18 March 2016

Pacific countries must work together to effectively combat illegal fishing in the region, the head of the Forum Fisheries Agency says.

James Movick was speaking this week at the release of a new report which for the first time put a value on the amount of illegal, unreported and unregulated tuna fishing in the Pacific.

The report indicates the amount of lost revenue annually in the region is around $US616 million, or just over 306 million tonnes.

Mr Movick said the new Niue Treaty Subsidiary agreement between FFA member countries was an example of the region working together.

The agreement allows enforcement agents from one country to apply the laws of another coastal state zone on their behalf.

"Really the Pacific Island countries left on their own would be unable to mount any form of defensive measure against IUU fishing. But as we have shown over the last 20-30 years, it is by working together with a collective approach that we're able to support each other," said Mr Movick.