13 July 2010
The Gillard Government today announced funding to support the sustainable management of fisheries in the western and central Pacific.
Mr Burke made the announcement at the Joint Pacific Fisheries and Law Enforcement Ministers’ meeting.
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke said that the contribution would support the implementation of a regional monitoring, control and surveillance strategy by the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA).
“Waters around the Pacific islands support some of the most productive tuna fisheries in the world,” Mr Burke said.
“These fisheries are a key driver of sustainable economic growth in the region as well as an important part of regional food security and must be protected from illegal fishing activity.
“Illegal fishing is estimated to cost the region up to $1.7 billion per year, and has the potential to significantly erode the benefits to Pacific Island people associated with tuna fisheries.
“The Gillard Government is working with the FFA to support the implementation of a regional monitoring, control and surveillance strategy to eliminate illegal fishing activity.
“We want to ensure the long term sustainability of fisheries in the Pacific Islands region and associated flow on benefits to developing coastal States.”
Mr Burke announced that the Government would contribute $400,000 to support the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) and an additional $50,000 to the Special Requirements Fund of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).
“The Gillard Government’s contribution to the WCPFC’s special requirements fund will help facilitate the engagement of developing coastal states in the work of the commission,” Mr Burke said.
The WCPFC established a special requirements fund in recognition of the need for targeted assistance to developing coastal states to enable them to fully participate in the work of the WCPFC.The WCPFC is the international body responsible for ensuring the long-term conservation and management of highly migratory fish stocks throughout the western and central Pacific Ocean.