South Pacific drive to stop illegal fishing

ILLEGAL fishing was at the top of the agenda of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation, which was held in Adelaide at the weekend.

  • Staff Reporter
  • 22 January 2017
  • 14:08
  • News
South Pacific drive to stop illegal fishing Anne Ruston

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Addressing the 150 delegates, Australian Agricultural and Water Ministry official Anne Ruston said the occasion provided an opportunity to engage with delegations to discuss the continued management fishery resources, which are adjacent to Australia's exclusive economic zone and reach to the coast of Chile and Peru.
"Australia works to ensure that our domestic fisheries management practices support the principles of economic development and environmental sustainability," Ruston said.
"Our commitment to establishing and maintaining responsible domestic fishing practices and policy also extends to our participation in international forums where we hope to achieve similar outcomes for those shared fishing resources."
The meeting focused on improving the management and reporting on fisheries for South Pacific members. Australia will also co-sponsor a proposal with Chile and New Zealand concerning improvements to vessel monitoring system requirements, which will help provide a key tool for combatting illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
Ruston said the work of the body was vital in ensuring fisheries resources in the South Pacific Ocean were managed sustainably and that any threats to this progress - such as illegal fishing - were met with ongoing vigilance and cooperation.
"Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing poses a key risk to undermine the hard work and objectives of regional fisheries management organisations," Ruston said.
"There has been a reduction in this illegal fishing activity in the Southern Ocean and other areas where a concerted effort has been made to combat offending vessels. The government is committed to combatting illegal fishing and I am delighted that this issue is receiving increasing global attention and action."
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