5-year project to address fisheries issues

The uneven contribution of oceanic fi sheries to national economic development is one of the challenges faced by the Pacifi c Islands group and the Pacifi c-European Union Marine Partnership Programme is designed to address this. Picture: FILE

THE uneven contribution of oceanic fisheries to national economic development is one of the challenges faced by the Pacific Islands group.

The Pacific-European Union Marine Partnership Programme has been designed with the aim to address this issue and several others.

A media release from the Pacific Community (SPC) yesterday said among the issues that would be addressed through the program included the increasing depletion of coastal fisheries resources, the threats to marine biodiversity, including negative impacts of climate change and disasters, the need for improved education and training in the sector and the need to mainstream a rights-based approach and to promote greater recognition of gender issues within the sector.

According to the media release the program foresees concrete deliverables at regional, national and local level.

The European Union had allocated 35 million euro ($F84.1m) towards the five-year program with additional targeted support of 10m euro ($F24.1m) from the government of Sweden.

The program will provide direct assistance through regional organisations to support regional and national level activities in the Pacific.

Four main regional agencies — the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), the Pacific Community (SPC), and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and The University of the South Pacific (USP) — will be the implementing agencies.

PEUMP partners and the 15 ACP countries in which the program will be implemented will meet at SPC headquarters, Noumea, New Caledonia, today, for a full-day brainstorming about planned activities and outcomes for one of the program’s six key results area: “Improvement of the sustainable management of coastal fisheries resources and ecosystems”.

According to the statement the program foresees concrete deliverables at regional, national and local level therefore country consultations during the workshop are pivotal to ensure national ownership and timely responses to national priorities.

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