NZ investing in sustainable Pacific fisheries
09 September 2011
New Zealand will beef up investment in Pacific Ocean fisheries to lift the level of returns from this vital resource to Pacific nations, says Prime Minister John Key.
"Starting this year, we will invest $7.5 million over five years in a fisheries training programme to ensure a coordinated approach for private sector-led sustainable fisheries development in the Pacific," says Mr Key.
"This will include upgrading the Pacific's fisheries training institutions, fostering seafood business enterprise development, helping people in the industry gain formal globally-recognised qualifications, and up-skilling fisheries officials in areas like international commerce and investment appraisal."
Mr Key says the Pacific Ocean's fisheries are crucial to the region, but practical solutions need to be put in place in order for Pacific island countries to gain a greater share of the profits from the catch.
"We are implementing the $4.9 million Te Vaka Moana development programme this year, which will explore ways to maximise returns from the Southern long line fishery, improve fisheries management and address the issues caused by illegal fishing."
New Zealand will also partner with Kiribati - which has the world's second-largest Exclusive Economic Zone - to upgrade that country's fisheries and marine training centres.
The Pacific Ocean accounts for 60 per cent of the global tuna catch, which is worth around USD$4.3 billion. Up to USD$400 million is lost each year through illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
The 42nd Pacific Islands Forum is being held in Auckland from September 6 until September 9. Mr Key is the Forum Chair.