Senator Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, welcomed the Australian Government’s announcement of an additional $23.5 million to support sustainable fisheries management in the Pacific.
Australia is providing the funding over four years to the Pacific Island Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), bringing Australia’s total support for Pacific regional fisheries to $40 million.
Deputy Prime Minister, Warren Truss, made the announcement today after attending the 45th Summit of Pacific Islands Forum in Palau.
“The Pacific Island region has an extremely valuable tuna resource and the funding supplied to the FFA will help the region continue to develop strong fisheries management strategies,” Senator Colbeck said.
“Funding provided to SPC is aimed at supporting sustainable fisheries for inland and coastal communities in the Pacific.”
Senator Colbeck said long-term sustainable fisheries management is vital as many Pacific island countries depend on the fisheries industry for their economic viability.
“Strong fisheries management strategies are essential for economic growth and regional development,” he said.
“It’s important to ensure these Pacific island countries can maximise their returns from fish resources while safeguarding stocks for future food security.”
Senator Colbeck attended the Tenth Annual Session of Pacific Fisheries Ministers in Tokelau last month and signed the Agreement on Strengthening Implementation of the Niue Treaty on Cooperation in Fisheries Surveillance and Law Enforcement in the South Pacific Region (NTSA).
The NTSA came into force this week after it was ratified by Vanuatu and Samoa. This treaty is a key instrument in reducing illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in the South Pacific region.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck