Forum Fisheries Agency

Pacific tuna fishery on track to return US$1 billion

The community's director general, Dr Colin Tukuitonga, said the Parties to the Nauru Agreement, or PNA, and the Forum Fisheries Agency are increasing returns to their member states.

The PNA controls the world's largest, sustainable tuna purse seine fishery which is valued at US$6 billion annually.

Dr Tukuitonga says it returned $US60 million to the region in 2010 which increased to US$500 million in 2017.

FFA urges caution over new tuna data

The figures suggest the entire tuna stock is at a healthy level, including Bigeye which has long been been reported as severely overfished.

The agency's Wez Norris said the data is potentially great news for the sustainability of the fishery but countries need to be cautious about acting on it.

Mr Norris said the extremely positive report was the result of a fundamental change to the way tuna stocks in the region are being assessed and he says it was not yet clear what measures they'll need to take.

Four illegal fishers netted during large scale regional crackdown

Nine patrol boats from the 10 member nations of the Forum Fisheries Agency took part in Operation Island Chief, with support from the navies of Australia, New Zealand and the United States.

More than 350 personnel were involved in the operation that covered 14 million square kilometres of ocean.

Four fishing vessels, three flagged to China and one to Chinese Taipei, were found to be infringing fishing regulations.

The infringements in Vanuatu and on the high seas, centred around misreporting of information and unmarked gear.

 

Huge reduction in rogue fishing vessels in the Pacific: FFA

This comes after no rogue vessels were found during the latest ten-day surveillance operation, Tui Moana, which ended last Friday.

The multi-lateral operation covered 7.3 m square km in Polynesia and involved Tonga, Samoa, the Cook Islands, Niue, Fiji and Tuvalu with support from the United States, France, Australia and New Zealand.

The deputy director general of the agency Wez Norris said four regional surveillance operations were run every year in different parts of the fishery and he said this had made a big impact on illegal fishing.

FFA welcomes bigger faster Pacific patrol boats

Two decades ago Australia gifted 20 patrol boats to Pacific countries which continue to be on the front line of regional security, monitoring and surveillance of the Pacific tuna fishery and the first response in times of natural disaster.

The deputy director general of the FFA, Wez Norris, said the Pacific patrol boat roll out would begin next year and would continue until the entire Pacific patrol boat fleet was replaced.

It was part of the Pacific Maritime Security Program which would see $US1.5 billion spent in the region over the next three decades.

Vietnamese fishing boats labelled 'reef robbers'

This call came after the latest arrest, on Sunday, of three of the vessels in Solomon Islands southernmost Rennell and Bellona province.

FFA director general James Movick said the operation to capture the boats was a great example of regional and multi-agency co-operation involving local communities and authorities with aerial support provided by the French.

The boats and their 43 crew arrived in the Solomon Islands capital Honiara on Tuesday morning where police and fisheries officers are conducting an investigation into their activities.

Hefty fines see decline in illegal tuna fishing

This comes after the latest surveillance operation by the FFA saw only two major breaches of compliance by vessels in the region.

Nine Pacific countries ran the ten day operation Rai Balang 2017 which concluded last Friday.

The team leader at the FFA's surveillance centre, Commander Gavin Baker, said the last 3-5 years had seen a steady decline in both the severity and number of offences being committed in the Pacific tuna fishery.

Pacific surveillance operation picks up Illegal fishers

Nine Pacific countries ran Operation Rai Balang 2017 which co-ordinated out of the Forum Fisheries Agency surveillance centre in Solomon Islands.

Operation Rai Balang 2017 covered 14.7 million square km and saw a total of 918 detections of fisheries vessels, 93 aircraft sightings, and 50 boardings 30 of them at sea.

Of the seven arrests five recorded in Vanuatu were long liners flagged to China with minor infringements.

In FSM, a purse seiner flagged to China allegedly had its vessel monitoring system turned off at the time of its inspection.

Tokelau agreement for albacore gets a boost

The agreement, signed at the Forum Fisheries Agency headquarters in Solomon Islands, will cover services and advice from the FFA and the Oceanic Fisheries Programme of the SPC to ensure a better performing tuna fishery and a more viable stock.

Countries sharing in the southern albacore long-line fishery and participating in the development of the Tokelau Agreement include the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.