Fiji battling to save it's waters
Fishing licences have been reduced dramatically in recent years in Fiji due to resources being significantly depleted
It has been a tough decade for the fishing industry in Fiji after previous years of success. Adrian Tatum assesses the situation.
Over the past five or six years, hundreds more foreign vessels (including several heavily subsidised Chinese ones) have entered Fiji’s waters, but the country has
Traditionally, the fisheries sector in Fiji boasts diverse resources of marine species. These species range from finfish like yellowfin tuna, bigeye tuna, albacore tuna, marlin, swordfish, mahimahi, to deep water fish such snapper, to reef fish species like sea- bream, trevally, grouper, coral trout and rock cods, and to aquaculture products which include prawn, seaweed, giant clam and tilapia.
Fiji’s Minister of Fisheries and Forests, Osea Naiqamu said recently that proper management and continued advocacy of Fiji’s coastal fisheries resources is important for food security, income generation and employment opportunities.
But for now the Pacific region still intends to do deals with foreign countries to fish in its waters.
The South Pacific Tuna Treaty, also called the US Treaty, entered into force in 1988. It sets down the fishing and operating rules for the US tuna purse seine fleet in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO), including waters under the jurisdiction of FFA member countries, which form the Pacific Island Parties to the Treaty. The Treaty provides a unique model of international and fishery cooperation. It has helped establish fisheries observer and data reporting requirements as well as monitoring, control and surveillance standards for the region’s tuna fisheries, all of which are vital to deterring illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.