The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), chaired by Niue’s very own Dr. Josie Tamate, manages the largest tuna fisheries in the world and is one of the major resources of the Western Central Pacific.
According to the World Economic Forum, “Tuna stocks in the western and central Pacific Ocean are currently in a healthy state – there is no overfishing and the stocks are not overfished. They are “in the green”.”
However, it will not always remain this way without robust long-term management. BCN News spoke with the Minister of Natural Resources Hon. Mona Ainuu yesterday morning who shared Niue’s role in the discussions with the WCPFC and other key organisations such as SPC Pacific Community with regards to Tuna conservation in the Pacific.
“We are very active in this conversation. As you would have all heard as well that our very own Dr. Josie Tamate is the Chair of the Western Central Fisheries Commission. This is a huge organisation with 25 members including China and the US. There’s a lot of discussions and there’s a lot of very robust conversations within these organisations regarding the measurements or the conservation of Tuna.”
Minister Ainuu is hopeful that the key decisions and actions made today for tuna conversation will prosper for future generations.
“The world has changed and so has the Pacific. Climate change is impacting a lot of these things as well so we are forever trying to amend these previous measurements to ensure that we keep up with what changes and shifts have happened within climate change. It’s the way that different countries organise themselves and their own laws as well.”
“In regards to the tuna, we just pray that they are still there many many years to come because we want to have our young generation experience the same benefits that we have had in our time because it’s very difficult to control something that many people are responsible for,” says Minister Ainuu.
According to Minister Ainuu, in the last WCPFC meeting held in Vietnam last year, the US generously gave a total of $600 million dollars in support for the initiatives and management of the Western Central Pacific fisheries.
The funding will spread across a period of ten years starting from next year 2024 at $60 Million dollars per annum.