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Strengthen Pacific fisheries

Frederica Elbourne
Wednesday, November 14, 2012

IN what marks the dawn of reckoning, Small Island States will now be referred to as Large Oceans States.

Vice chancellor and president of the University of the South Pacific Rajesh Chandra quite rightly pointed this out at the Korea South Pacific Fisheries Forum symposium in Suva last month.

In his opening address at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Mr Chandra said the Pacific contributed to the global market in terms of food supply.

President of the Korea Maritime Institute Hak-So Kim said the forum was established last year and was taking steps to boost cooperation between Korea and South Pacific.

He said the institute was the only Korean State—sponsored organisation that specialised in maritime and fisheries related affairs and was working to promote mutual cooperation with emerging economies.

Mr Hak-So said island countries in the Pacific had large Exclusive Economic Zones that were larger than their land mass which meant that the development and protection of the ocean was directly related to the development of the national economy. Despite this, development was still below par, he said.

Mr Hak-So recommended that Large Ocean States learn from the experience and know-how of developed countries that show exemplary cases in the formulation of long-term vision and strategies for the fishery industry.

The symposium was expected to generate an exchange of extensive fisheries related experience and technical capabilities between Korea and South Pacific island countries for the effective use of fisheries development in what could bring about a win-win situation.

Meanwhile, permanent secretary for Fisheries Inoke Wainiqolo said Fiji was currently reviewing legislation governing the management of the industry.

He congratulated Korea for taking the initiative to foster relationship with Fiji and said it would greatly assist Fiji in areas of human resources, gear technology, joint effort in monitoring, aquaculture and community based management.

In another development, KOSOPFF co-chairman Jeong-hwan Lee said the forum aimed to build a broad human network in order to expand the cooperative relationship in fisheries between Korea and island countries in the South Pacific.

He hailed the involvement of the University of the South Pacific saying the participation of USP students made it all the more meaningful and promising.

KOSOPFF can do a lot from the abundance of resources in the Pacific ocean, Mr Jeong-hwan said.

He said there was a need to have proper management and effective response to crises. Mr Jeong-hwan said KOSOPFF provided a forum which allowed island nations to talk about opportunities, threats and various associated issues that had a bearing on the interest of each region.

Presentations made at the symposium will go to KOSOPFF secretariat for an information management system and networking system to provide active support for all the members for effective cooperation and communication.

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