Director General FFA Solomon Islands James Movick, speaking during the launching of the Pacific tuna forum
DIRECTOR of INFOFISH, Abdul Basir Kunhimohamed says the increasing commercial fishing and subsistence tuna harvesting activities has seen a back drop in tuna stock sustainability.
He was speaking to participants of the Pacific Tuna Forum 2013 held last week in Honiara.
“All tuna industry playmakers must work closely to ensure a sustainable future in our tuna industry,” Mr Kunhimohamed said.
“As member countries of Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) and Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) including investors, and stakeholders and investors who have invested in Central Pacific ocean, we need to work closely to see the future of sustainability in our declining tuna stock.
Mr Kunhimohamed said there is a consensus in the industry that cheap tuna has been something from the past.
“We must know that all tuna stocks are declining in our oceans; and the incurring price tag of tuna stocks will be more expensive to catch and delivered to the market.
“The demand is growing globally and actual data indicated that the tatal number of the five main tuna species were stagnant at around $4.3 million to $4.4 million tones and unlikely to increase in the near future,” said the INFOFISH director.
Meanwhile, PNA CEO Dr. Transform Aqorau said the organization’s Vessel Day Scheme (VDS) has doubled the revenue for the member countries but still to reach its full potentials.
“While PNA and VDS has increased the value of the fishery from US $1.9 to US $3.8 Per-annum since 2010, there were still gaps implementing and understanding Pacific government, foreign fishing nations and industry.
“In the last four years the PNA has been able to double the value of the fishery under the VDS, so there’s hope that PNA member countries can end up with a fishery that is efficient, sustainable with economic benefits for all concerned,” said Dr Aqorau.
But he also called the industry to support the PNA and foreign nations to recognise the VDS.
“The industry must work with rules, regulations and spirit of the VDS; and fishing nations should see the VDS as the number one tool and stop proposing alternative schemes.”