8 Mar 2005

New EU funded Tuna project to help develop indigenous private sector involvement

8:17 pm on 8 March 2005

The Forum Fisheries Agency says a new project funded by the European Union will help Pacific nations maximise the income they get from the tuna fishery.

The development project for Pacific ACP countries is getting money totalling nearly four million US dollars to be implemented by the Honiara-based Forum Fisheries Agency in conjunction with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

The Legal Counsel at the Forum Fisheries Agency, Transform Aqorau, says the project won't neccessarily lead to more European involvement in the fishery.

But, he says Pacific nations should be able to make business deals with whoever offers the best deal:

"This is not neccessarily going to change the EU presence in the fishery , there is already an EU presence. They have an agreement with Kiribati, Solomon Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia. It's not a question of when, the fact of the matter is the EU is already in the Pacific."

The Development of Tuna Fisheries project will be carried out over a four year period.