PACIFIC Island countries have for a number of years led the way when it comes to good regional co-operation in attempting to curb bad fishing practices.
This was word from Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) legal adviser Professor William Edeson who said in all the regions he had worked in, the South Pacific showed particularly admirable regional co-operation in terms of their approach to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
"You have to go back to 1988 when driftnet fishing was a huge problem in the Pacific.
"It was the actions of the Pacific Island states that led to a convention known as the Wellington Convention on Driftnet Fishing and it had a dramatic impact," he said.
"It not only led to the stopping of driftnet fishing in the Pacific, but it led the UN General Assembly to adopt a resolution which requested countries to adopt regulations or laws to stop it and eventually driftnet fishing was cut out."
He said because fisheries was an important resource in the South Pacific, island states tended to be leaders in the area.
"The FFA had set up a regional register long before other regions had even thought about it and now it's commonplace to have registers or records as they're now called," he said.