NZ backs stronger Pacific fisheries management

  • John Key
Prime Minister

New Zealand has today been updating Pacific Leaders on our support for regional fisheries management, noting strong progress in combatting illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the Pacific.

“The Pacific’s tuna fishery is the region’s greatest natural asset and is currently valued at more than $3.2 billion,” says Prime Minister John Key.

“At last year’s Pacific Islands Forum, New Zealand committed $50 million to support fisheries management in the region, to ensure as much benefit as possible is returned to its people.

“This work is well under way, with almost $30 million now allocated to important projects including strengthening the management of coastal fisheries, improving long-line tuna management, and tightening monitoring and control of fishing boats in ports.

“IUU costs the Pacific tuna fishery an estimated $850m every year and affects the sustainability of the fishery. Addressing this is critical to the success of the region’s efforts.

“We are working with Pacific countries to increase controls at their ports to better monitor fishing vessels and to reduce the practice of fishers transferring catches between boats outside of ports, in order to under-report their total haul. This is a major problem in the region.

“These efforts sit alongside progress being made to develop a sustainable, catch-based management system for South Pacific albacore tuna to better protect the resource for future generations.”

The Prime Minister is currently attending the Pacific Islands Forum in Pohnpei, in the Federated States of Micronesia.