National observers will now have a clear guideline on the monitoring, control and surveillance of licensed long line fishing boats in Fiji.
This follows a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signing of National Observers between the Ministry of Fisheries, the Fiji Tuna Boat Owners Association and the Fiji Offshore Fishing Association this afternoon.
Permanent Secretary for Fisheries, Inoke Wainiqolo said that today’s signing was relevant as it was the first time for the two associations and the ministry to work together.
Fiji Tuna Boat Owners Association president Graham Southwick said that the fishing industry is under extreme pressure internally and more so externally and the need for observers and good cooperation is critical.
“The industry is at a critical cross road at the moment, we need good information, good action, and good cooperation between the industry and the ministry which is starting to happen now and we are looking forward to be able to do all the things to keep this industry going,” Southwick said.
The Fiji Offshore Fishing Association president, Mr Xin Du said that now the FOFA had a clear idea of rules and requirements of compliance and the industry was happy to work with the ministry of fisheries.
Director Fisheries Suresh Chand said that previously national observers used to go on ad hoc deployment.
“Now the responsibilities are defined, there is no way that any party can beat the system,” Chand said.