International experts cast net for big ideas on fisheries governance

17 June, 2015

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeckjoined prominent academics and leading experts in fisheries management today for a workshop to think big about challenges and opportunities in international fisheries governance.

Senator Colbeck said that as a leader in sustainable and ecosystem-based fisheries management, Australia is well-placed to make a valuable contribution to a global dialogue on international fisheries governance.

"Australia's fisheries management is recognised among the best in the world and we are committed to sharing our experience and knowledge with our neighbours and other international partners. We also recognise the importance of working together towards a common vision for the future sustainability of our fisheries resources," Senator Colbeck said.

"Our wild-catch fisheries sector contributes $1.5 billion to the Australian economy and fisheries play a central role in the economies of many of our neighbours in the Asia-Pacific region. It's important they are managed well so they remain sustainable and productive.

"One of the biggest challenges facing international fisheries management is illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, which can have major impacts on our region's food security and economies, as well as causing serious damage to fish stocks and marine ecosystems.

"Australia's efforts to tackle this issue, including our work through the south east Asian Regional Plan of Action to Promote Responsible Fishing Practices (RPOA)is one example of how a cooperative and collaborative approach to international fisheries challenges can yield positive outcomes.

""Since the beginning of 2012, Australia's sharing of information on IUU vessel movements through the RPOA regional network has led to positive actions in the fight against illegal fishing, including , denial of port entry and port services, vessel inspections, and in some cases, fines and gaol. Our efforts have also seen countries de-listing IUU vessels from their registers and taking action against nationals with links to these vessels.

"We are always looking for new ways of engaging internationally to achieve sustainable fisheries outcomes and this workshop is a great opportunity to generate new ideas to address challenges we face in international fisheries management."

The workshop was attended by experts such as Professor Svein Jentoft of the Norwegian College of Fishery Science and Professors Samuel Barkin and Elizabeth DeSombre, co-authors of two books on sustainable fisheries management.

The Beyond Boundaries: Regional and global fisheries issues and solutions workshop will be held in Canberra on 17-18 June by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and the Department of Agriculture.

170615 Beyond Boundaries workshop
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