The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, or FFA, says the capability to monitor fishing activity in the high seas is a great boost to the ability of Pacific island nations to better manage their fish stocks.
Extending the FFA's Vessel Monitoring System to include the high seas was one of the areas of discussion at the just-completed meeting in Honiara of monitoring, control and surveillance experts from FFA member countries and territories.
The FFA's director of fisheries operations, Andre Volentras, says through the FFA, the Western and Central Pacific Tuna Fisheries Commission is harnessing more power to counter illegal fishing.
"There have been some very positive outcomes. You know, for the first time anywhere in the world a regional fishing management organisation is now able to see fishing in the high seas. And that is made possible through our FFA infrastructure, and that's a very good outcome because now not only can we monitor fishing in the EEZs but we can see fishing in the high seas."