8 Jul 2015

Strategy to increase value of tuna to help preserve it

8:14 am on 8 July 2015

The head of the Forum Fisheries Agency says increasing the value of tuna will help reduce over-fishing in the Pacific.

Frozen albacore tuna offloaded in Lami, Fiji

Frozen albacore tuna offloaded in Lami, Fiji Photo: RNZ / Philippa Tolley

The agency held a ministerial meeting in Tuvalu last week, with all 17 member nations endorsing a new Regional Roadmap for Sustainable Pacific Fisheries, which lists strategies to make Pacific fisheries the rising item on the national, regional and global agenda.

The director general of the agency, James Movick, says one of the aims is to increase the value per unit of tuna rather than increase the quantity of fish caught.

"By adopting an objective to limit the amount of catch in each of the fisheries, we're then anticipating that the increase in the value will come from developing other products that have a higher value, doing more of the processing within the region, developing new types of products that meet new needs in the market at higher value."

James Movick says fisheries ministers have tasked the Forum Fisheries Agency to set up a new regional unit to work with national authorities to help ensure food safety standards are met, which could help the Pacific get in to new export markets.

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