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Taiwan Trains Pacific Allies Tuna Observers Taiwan, August 1, 12

Interns from Taiwan’s six Pacific allies are training in Kaohsiung as fishery observers
A total of 22 recruits from Taiwan’s six Pacific allies are taking part in the 2012 Regional Fishery Observer Training Program in southern Taiwan’s Kaohsiung City, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs July 30.

In the three-week program co-hosted by MOFA and the Council of Agriculture’s Fisheries Agency, interns from Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, the Solomon Islands and Tuvalu will be trained in the identification of different marine species, fishing operations safety, survival skills at sea, and international fisheries law.

“The project provides an opportunity for Taiwanese operators of purse seiners to employ onboard tuna observers from our allies, enhances the observers’ understanding of tuna fishing operations in Taiwan, strengthens cooperative relations between Taiwan and its Pacific allies, and increases employment opportunities for citizens of our diplomatic partners,” MOFA said.

The Fisheries Agency added that the economic zones of the Pacific islands are important fishing grounds for Taiwan. “Our long-range tuna purse seine vessels have had close and long-term collaborative ties with their Pacific counterparts,” the agency said. “Through the program we hope to achieve the goals of protecting resources, assisting the development of the Pacific islands, cementing bonds with our Pacific allies and maintaining sustainable management of the industry.”

MOFA noted that trainees who complete the program and pass certification are then qualified for deployment on vessels for independent data collection regarding catch composition, by-catch—or fish caught unintentionally—and gear configuration in support of conservation and management activities.

Initiated in 2010, the program this year runs from July 30 to Aug. 27.