New Pacific Tuna boss to focus on breaking barriers
Pacific Tuna boss to focus on breaking down barriers.
The newly-elected head of the Pacific Tuna Commission, Feleti Teo, says one week is too short to reach a consensus on the management of tuna in the region.
Mr Teo comments come as the last day of the annual Central and Western Pacific Fisheries Commission meetings get underway in Apia, Samoa.
So far negotiations between distant water fishing nations and Pacific Island resource owners have not been able to reach a consensus.
Mr Teo spoke with Koroi Hawkins about the changes he hopes to make when he takes up his new office.
FELETI TEO: The major fishing nations that fish in other oceans are the same fishing nations that Pacific Island countries have to deal with. So it has been a challenge getting them on board. But I think as the new head of this commission, the point that I want to emphasise and one that I made during my acceptance speech was that, it is in everybody's interest that this fisheries have to be in reasonably good health. So we needs to work cooperatively and collaboratively in ensuring that the measures are effective. Otherwise we run the risk of following the experience of other regions.
KOROI HAWKINS: As the new Executive Director what will you be doing to try and move these things?
FT: Well, obviously I will not be in the chair during the course of this week, but I will be taking up the role in a couple of months time and I think there needs to be more discussions leading up to the commission. I think the commission has annual sessions but there is a very long gap between the sessions and everything seems to be dumped onto the commission in the one week. And I think I will encourage more dialogue. More honest and frank dialogue leading up to the commission rather than relying just on the five days that the commission meet at the end of the year and expect everything to be agreed to. Because obviously there seems to be a vast difference in position and perspective on some of the measures that are being tabled this week.
KH: How do you plan to make all parties see that managing and conserving this Tuna Fishery is mutually beneficial?
FT: Interestingly the commission includes some of the most powerful nations in the world. We have the United States, we have Japan, we have the European Union, China. They are all in this organisation and they obviously have totally different interests, perspectives, if you compare them to the Pacific Island countries. But what unites them is the need to have, or to manage these resources in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean sustainably. And I think that will have to be the common objective that all the parties must upheld.
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