Sustainability status

FIJI is committed to maintaining its status as a sustainable fishery in the region, says World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Pacific’s sustainable seafood and fisheries program manager Duncan Williams.

He said this was evident with the country recently certified by UK-based Marine Stewardship Council — an independent non-profit organisation which sets a standard for sustainable fishing.

To promote sustainability and management of tuna stocks, a two-day workshop, areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) Western and Central Pacific Ocean tuna management, began in Nadi yesterday.

Mr Williams said the purpose of the workshop was to develop the capacity of commissioners of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission. “The meeting is to help the commissioners themselves on the concepts of harvest strategy approaches to managing tuna stocks,” he said.

“It’s a unique way of managing tuna because it tries to set the rules for managing a particular stock or species of tuna.

“So if something happens and if they are being fished unsustainably and if it’s moving into areas which is quite concerning to the commission, the members would have already agreed to a set of actions they can take in response to the scientific data coming through.”

Emelie Martensson, who is from the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Common Oceans Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction Tuna project, was also at the meeting.

She said the main purpose of the workshop was to raise awareness among the commission’s member countries about the use of harvest and management strategies.

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