ILLEGAL, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing cannot be tackled in isolation but needs a robust collective effort by stakeholders in the fishing sector worldwide.
With that the Ministry of Fisheries and Forests and the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji has signed a memorandum of understanding in Suva to formalise co-operation between the parties on the regulation of Fiji fishing vessels and to combating IUU fishing.
Forests permanent secretary Inoke Wainiqolo said the MOU signing was an extension to their work to to improve their capability to combat IUU fishing.
Mr Wainiqolo said IUU fishing was a global issue.
"We hope the ministry and the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji work closely in the future to ensure that what is on the MOU is implemented," he said.
"Currently, Fiji is in the final stages of reviewing a national plan of action on IUU fishing and the tuna development and management plan.
"Fiji being a member of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, which is the youngest of tuna regional fisheries management organisations (RFMO), will ensure that our flagged vessels fishing within the Western and Central Pacific Ocean comply with the provisions of the convention."
He said the MOU would enable monitoring, control and surveillance of Fiji flagged fishing vessels operating within the Fiji fisheries waters and beyond, including access to vessel monitoring information.