FISHERIES are very important for the Pacific region.
Not only are they one of the most important sources of income for many countries in the region, they are also central to food security.
The Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) held the 8th Heads of Fisheries Meeting this week at its headquarters in Noumea, New Caledonia.
This meeting is an opportunity for heads of fisheries departments from countries and territories around the Pacific to hold discussions and, with the help of SPC, plan for sustainable use of the oceanic resources.
At today's opening, SPC Director-General Dr Jimmie Rodgers noted that SPC's Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems (FAME) Division is favourably viewed by SPC members and received high marks in last year's Independent External Review of SPC. This shows that the services provided by the division are essential for the sustainable development of the region.
Dr Rodgers also reminded attendees that the meeting, like SPC, belongs to the member Pacific Island countries and territories.
Therefore, it provides an opportunity for SPC members to state their needs and help determine SPC priorities in the fisheries sector.
Major issues discussed during the meeting will include the management of sea cucumber fisheries and the collection of data to strengthen knowledge about fish stocks in the Pacific.