Positive outcome from Fisheries Ministers Meeting

6 July 2015

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Richard Colbeck, joined Pacific Fisheries Ministers in Tuvalu last week at the 11th Annual Ministerial Forum Fisheries Committee meeting.

Senator Colbeck said a key outcome of the meeting was promoting the adoption of Target Reference Points for key tuna stocks through a regional Roadmap for Sustainability of Pacific Fisheries.

"Sound management arrangements are vital for the region and we must continue to be ambitious in reaching our sustainable management goals for Pacific fisheries," Senator Colbeck said.

Senator Colbeck was a strong advocate for the agreement to set management targets for four key tuna stocks within three years, so that within 10 years the region would be well on the way to reaching the targets for the skipjack, yellowfin, albacore and bigeye tuna stocks.

"This is my second ministerial meeting in the Pacific and the momentum that I've seen generated during this time is outstanding," Senator Colbeck said.

"Australia's experience in introducing harvest strategy management arrangements has proved invaluable in guiding sustainability in these regional forums.

"We've been able to demonstrate the positives of this approach, with our Commonwealth fisheries showing measureable improvements in sustainability since the introduction of harvest strategies to guide catch limits.

"We've seen great results first hand and want to share these lessons so Pacific fisheries can benefit from the same positive outcomes Australia has experienced."

Senator Colbeck said the new Roadmap for Sustainable Fisheries and tuna report cards articulate the shared vision of the region for both its inshore and offshore fisheries

"Australian aid was critical in the development of the new community-based inshore fisheries strategy which focuses on food security and livelihoods across the region," Senator Colbeck said.

"For the first time we have a joint strategy covering both inshore and offshore fisheries.

"This was a very successful meeting and another valuable opportunity to work with our neighbours to achieve results. We will continue to work together to manage our fisheries sustainably into the future."

For further information on the Annual Ministerial Forum Fisheries Committee visit: www.ffa.int

060715 Positive outcome from Fisheries Ministers Meeting
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