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23 July Forum On Future Of Pacific Tuna Industry

A first-of-its-kind regional symposium promoting awareness and discussions on commercial tuna fishing activities in the Pacific will be held on 23 July in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI).

“The Future of our Fisheries” symposium will bring together government authorities and experts to provide important information on major changes that are taking place in the Pacific tuna fishing industry, said Glen Joseph, Director of the Marshall Islands Marine Resources Authority.

Forum participants will also discuss concerns about the dwindling global fish stocks and address perceptions that Pacific nations are not equitably benefiting from the $4 billion annual tuna harvest in western Pacific.

Dr. Transform Aquorau, Deputy Director General of the Forum Fisheries Agency in Solomon Islands, and Mr. Les Clarke, a respected fisheries development economist, are the guest speakers. The event is hosted by The College of the Marshall Islands' Public Policy Institute in collaboration with the Marshall Islands Marine Resource Authority and the Asian Development Bank.

The RMI, the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, and Tuvalu account for 90% of the Pacific tuna catch and 54% of the global tuna catch annually. The Pacific nations have collectively taken steps to closely coordinate their conservation policies as well as monitoring and surveillance activities.

“These Pacific nations want to become more assertive in managing their tuna resources in order to better ensure sustainability and more equity, which will have a profound and lasting impact on a global scale,” said Kiyoshi Nakamitsu, ADB Desk Officer for the RMI.

Fisheries-led economic development in RMI, scientific assessments of tuna stock, fisheries policies, and the processes by which access rights are awarded to fisherman will also be discussed at the forum.

The event will be held at the International Convention Center in Majuro on 23 July 2009 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Regional lawmakers, traditional leaders, fisheries managers, educators, industry executives, media and the public are invited to attend.