29 Sep 2008

Pacific Plan review warns of immediate need for action to save fisheries.

2:56 pm on 29 September 2008

The Pacific Islands' Forum says an urgent effort is needed to secure the future of the region's tuna and coastal fisheries.

It also says the financial viability of some countries will be threatened if the costs of energy continue to soar.

This is included in a review of progress on the Pacific Plan, which focussed on five priority areas identified by Pacific leaders a year ago at their summit in Tonga.

Don Wiseman has more.

"The five sectors are fishing, energy, transport, trade and economic integration and climate change. On fishing the Forum reports that the most critical issue is the intense global interest in the region's fish stocks coupled with illegal fishing. It says it is a major concern that measures by the Tuna Commission in Pohnpei are unlikely to protect current stocks. The Forum says high level support is needed to secure equitable access to reliable and affordable energy for all members. It questions the slow implementation of regional trade deals, supports the mainstreaming of climate change policy into national development planning and wants a continued focus on regional and sub regional approaches to cover the gaps in transport networks."