PNA applauds new head of Pacific Tuna Commission
A Pacific Islander is appointed as the new head of the Pacific Tuna Commission.
The Parties to the Nauru Agreement are applauding the election of a Tuvaluan as the new Executive Director of the Western and Central Pacific Fishing Commission.
Dr Feleti Teo, a former Director General of the Forum Fisheries Agency and current Interim Director of the Pacific Islands Development Forum, was elected in Samoa where the week-long annual meeting of the Pacific Tuna Commission is underway.
Speaking from Apia, the PNA Chief Executive, Dr Transform Aqorau, says the election is an important one for Pacific Island countries as they continue to negotiate with powerful distant water fishing countries for better management of tuna stocks in the region.
He spoke with Koroi Hawkins at the end of the second day of the ongoing meeting in Apia.
DR TRANSFORM AQORAU: I think the biggest outcome so far is the election of Feleti Teo of Tuvalu as the next Executive Director of the Western Central Pacific Commission Secretariat based in Pohnpei. And that is a, that is a very good outcome for the Pacific Islands countries in that one of our sons of the Pacific is being put up to head an important organisation and institution that has global significance. And so from that perspective we are very proud of that achievement and the support that our countries from the Pacific and also others from the fishing nations have given to Feleti to perform this very important task.
KOROI HAWKINS: What else has been coming out in Samoa? I understand this is a week long meeting?
TA: Most of today has been introduction of different measures, conservation and management measures that have been proposed. And I think for the Pacific Islands countries there are two core ones in terms of resources. One is the albacore measure that is being put up and the other is the tropical tuna measure and also, there's three actually, there is the one on operational data. So negotiations actually have not started in earnest yet but the flagposts have been put up the visions have been set, the papers have been introduced and so we only have the next few days over which we can try and address some of the pressing problems relating to management of tropical tuna and to have effective conservation and management measures for albacore tuna. Which is important to the southern countries of the pacific islands.
KH: Is it difficult to consolidate that individual need to gain more from resources?
TA: To the extent that the outcomes have to be negotiated its difficult and so therefore compromises have to be made. So what, from our perspective, we like to think that it is for the Pacific Island countries. The resource is here, it's ours and therefore we expect that others should respect the laws the regulations that we have when they come in and fish in our region. And don't expect us to bend over to their needs because we are not going to be going away, we are here we cannot move away. They can move their boats to other oceans but we can't move our islands and waters and the fish that we have in our waters. And so they should to that extent be supporting us and strengthening the work that we are doing rather than trying to oppose us. But we will know by the end of the week what the impact of the outcomes are.
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