8 Mar 2005

EU funding for tuna project will help develop local involvement in the industry

5:16 pm on 8 March 2005

The Forum Fisheries Agency says the financing of a project to develop tuna fisheries will help island nations improve local involvement in the industry.

The development project is funded by the European Union and will be implemented by the Honiara-based Forum Fisheries Agency in conjunction with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in Noumea.

The Legal Counsel at Agency, Transform Aqorau, says the money means work can continue on helping the region add value to its tuna resource:

"There's a much broader way you can look at adding value to the resource, it's establishment of companies, rights based through different management paradigms through rights based fisheries managment rather than the open access fisheries arrangements that we currently have and so this project will help us examine ways in which we can do this."

Mr Aqorau says there is a window of opportunity in the new fishery situation created by the introduction of the Tuna Commission.

He says restrictions will be introduced eventually and it is important to explore ways to maximise the benefits from a limited resource.