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Friday, 16 September 2011

SPC urges regional unity in fisheries management

Director General of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Dr Jimmie Rodgers has called for regional unity in fisheries management. He stated a need for Asian, American and European fishing interests to connect with the entire region rather than with individual countries so that everybody wins.

He noted that three Pacific countries are already making bilateral deals with European interests, and this underscores the need to maintain common positions, particularly from the island nations belonging to the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA).

At the Pacific members of the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) meeting in Auckland this week, talks with the European Union (EU) have proved complicated due to differing regional opinions on the role of the ACP Secretariat and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS). The issues of Rules of Origin and global sourcing for fresh and frozen fish is a key objective of some Pacific islands, while major players like Papua New Guinea want to keep exporting to Europe.

Port Moresby has inked and ratified an interim Economic Partnership Agreement with Europe in the absence of an inclusive regional deal, and the European Commission (EC) and PNG government are now exploring the implications of sustainable global sourcing under that agreement.

Meanwhile, Pacific ACP countries might not want to re-negotiate the “global sourcing” concession under its rules of origin provision offered by the EU, reports Islands Business.