26 Sep 2002

FSM lobbying for support to become regional fishery body host

10:51 am on 26 September 2002

The Federated States of Micronesia is currently lobbying for support among member countries of a regional fisheries commission to host its permanent secretariat.

John Thoulag from the National Oceanic Resource Authority in Pohnpei says FSM's proposal was submitted last week and that numerical support is needed to back up its bid.

The Commission, comprising 26 Asian and Pacific countries along with the EU and US, will oversee the conservation and management of highly migratory fish stocks such as tuna in the Western and Central Pacific.

Mr Thoulag says FSM's strongest advantage is its economic and social stability.

He says getting support for FSM to become the secretariat host will be difficult as there are a number of Pacific countries vying for the position.

"We think that having an international office here is good for us and we think it is disappointing to have other bids from the membership. So we will just have to wait and see. A vote will have to be taken and a three-quarter vote is required."

The Commission will meet in Malaysia in November to vote on whether FSM or other nominated countries including Papua New Guinea, Tonga and the Cook Islands will host the permanent secretariat.