AUSTRALIA - Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, represented the Australian Government at the 11th meeting of the Ministerial Forum Fisheries Committee in Tuvalu.
Senator Colbeck said Australia continues to play a key role in supporting Pacific fisheries and will lend support to a new ‘regional roadmap for sustainable fisheries’.
“Australia recognises the importance of sustainable fisheries across the Pacific, and the importance of developing a shared plan that will provide a strong framework for regional fisheries management over the next decade,” he said.
“As a member of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency we recognise the critical role that fisheries play in the cultural, social and economic fabric of island economies.
“We have the opportunity to continue to share our knowledge and experience in fisheries management with our neighbours and friends in the region, particularly in relation to developing harvest strategies.”
“Australia has an excellent reputation as a sustainable fisheries manager and we’ve been using harvest strategies to guide our catch limits and restocking strategies for eight years. We’ve recently seen some great results in our domestic fisheries, including the recent reopening of fishing for Orange Roughy.”
The Australian Government is providing assistance to regional fisheries through ongoing aid funding commitments, including $13 million in 2014-15 to support Pacific fisheries management.
Australia is also supporting Pacific Island Countries to protect their fisheries resources through the replacement of the existing Pacific Patrol Boats under Project SEA3036 Phase 1, which will cost approximately A$2 billion over 30 years.
Senator Colbeck also attended last year’s Ministerial Forum Fisheries Committee meeting, where Australia committed to take the lead on the development of a draft conservation and management measure to develop and implement a harvest strategy approach for key fisheries and stocks in the Western and Central Pacific and which was adopted at the 2014 Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission meeting.
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