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EDITO
Tuesday, 27 June 2017

On 3-4 February 2016, the Maldives will host an important workshop to further advance the understanding of Management Strategy Evaluations (MSEs), with the overriding aim to agree an appropriate harvest control rule (HCR) for tuna stocks under the jurisdiction of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC). This HCR recommendation will be an integral component of a proposed resolution at the 20th Session of the IOTC, being held in La Réunion in May.

Three Regional Fisheries Bodies (RFBs): the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM); the Organization of the Central American Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector (OSPESCA); and the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations - Western Central Atlantic Fisheries Commission (FAO-WECAFC) on Wednesday 27 January signed  a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to facilitate, support and strengthen the coordination of actions among the three RFBs to increase the sustainability of fisheries.  This initiative to improve coordination for sustainable fisheries is supported through the UNDP/GEF-Catalysing Implementation of the Strategic Action Programme for the Sustainable Management of shared Living Marine Resources in the Caribbean and North Brazil Shelf Large Marine Ecosystems (CLME+) Project.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

The Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development has signed a $500,000 technical cooperation agreement with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on strengthening routine fisheries data collection in the West African sub-region. The move is also to support the efforts of fisheries committees of the West, Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC) to enhance evidence-based decision making in the management, planning and development of the fisheries sector through a reliable statistical information system.

A program funded by the African Development Bank (ADB) has enabled a significant modernisation of agriculture and fisheries in São Tomé and Príncipe, the bank said in a document published on its website. The document on four years of implementation of the Recovery Programme of Infrastructure to Support Food Security (PRIASA), 2012-2016, said roads had been rebuilt and irrigation channels built for farmland, along with fish storage centres and various other structures and training sessions for farmers, fishermen and technical personnel.

The Chinese authorities and companies from China are launching new projects in Guinea-Bissau and Cabo Verde (Cape Verde), in areas such as fisheries, tourism and the media, which promise closer relations with the Portuguese-speaking countries of West Africa. The Guinean Prime Minister, Carlos Correia, last week held an audience with the Ambassador of China, Wang Hua, and both discussed a Chinese project to invest over US$300 million, in addition to establishing a free trade zone in the southern Biombo region.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

FAO and its partners are working together in training Fisheries Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) training in the Pacific. Fisheries enforcement and compliance is critical for the management of the regions tuna and oceanic resources. Members of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) have called for greater recognition of MCS and effective fisheries management. It was identified that this aim could be achieved by an MCS practitioners’ introductory training programme. The Fisheries Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) Training for Pacific Region Heading Towards Certificate IV Qualifications was held in October 2015 in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

It seems Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna may be bowing to public pressure against the proposed $4.5 million fishing deal with the European Union. Puna has apparently upped the level of oversight of the proposed controversial fishing deal, which could allow four Spanish purse seiners to fish in Cook Islands waters over the next four years. The Prime Minister has tasked a core committee to apply a “thorough assessment of the draft agreement and be involved in dealing with arising issues.” In addition to the Ministry of Marine Resources, Cabinet directed officials from Foreign Affairs, Crown Law and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management to review the draft last Friday.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

The European Commission reached a significant decision this month -- motivated in part by clear evidence of European vessels illegally fishing in Liberia -- to adopt more stringent regulations that will bring transparency to the murky business of flagged vessels fishing in distant waters. “The industrial fishing community is smaller than you might think,” said Stephen Akester, fisheries management adviser to the Bank’s West Africa Regional Fisheries Program (WARFP).

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Fijianoperators are uncertain whether a recent proposal by the Forum Fisheries Agency to reduce Southern Pacific Albacore Tuna fishing by 40 per cent will actually happen. Pacific fishing countries want the reduction in order to maintain Albacore stocks at 45 per cent of pre-fishing levels. This is what scientists generally agree is the required level to keep the species sustainable. At the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission 12th Regular session in Bali, FFA members made the proposal which has been rejected in the past by the United States, Japan and China.

The first tilapia farm in Belize has become ASC certified. The Fein Catch tilapia farm is the first of its kind in Belize to gain certification against the ASC Tilapia Standard for responsible aquaculture after independent assessment by certifier Control Union Peru. "I would like to congratulate Fein Catch on their certification. This is a great example of the diversity of the farms engaged in our programme," said Chris Ninnes, ASC's CEO.