28 Jan 2009

Moves afoot in Melanesia to inform communities about fisheries issues

8:00 pm on 28 January 2009

Tuna fisheries is considered to be largely the domain of governments, large tuna companies and fisheries depts but the impacts and benefits are felt right throughout Pacific communities.

The Ocean Fisheries Management in the Western & Central Pacific Fisheries Commission and the World Wide Fund for nature have teamed up with donors to run fishing workshops in Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea this week.

A participant at the Solomon Islands workshop, Ian Cartwright, says the aim of the NGO and civil society targeted workshops is to engage and inform non-governmental organisations and civil society about key issues in the industry

He says if local people have an understanding of them, they can actively air their views on fishing policies, at any given opportunity.

"You never know the minister might be there on a sunday, and the pastor is thundering from the pulpit about making sure we sustain our resources for our children, and if he's just signed a deal with Taiwan, you never know it may make him think twice."

Ian Cartwright, a participant in the Solomon Islands fishing workshop