The recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Ministry of Fisheries and Forests and Fiji Ports Corporation Limited will strengthen Government’s resolve to address illegal fisheries activities around the country.
The MOU will enable the monitoring, control and surveillance of fishing vessels suspected or determined to have engaged in Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.
The Ministry of Fisheries and Forests permanent secretary Mr Inoke Wainiqolo highlighted that the MOU will ensure capacity building of port state inspectors and the regular inter-agency consultation for the management of fishing vessels in port.
“It will also enable the parties to share information on foreign and Fiji fishing vessels and enable port related measures or requirements under regional and international fisheries treaties, “Mr Wainiqolo said.
“One of the important issues that all fishing countries internationally are dealing with is IUU. This is one area we will work together to ensure that this is eliminated or removed within our fishing area in Fiji.”
Mr Wainiqolo added that the licensing of the vessels is important and reminded the companies with the license to comply with the laws of Fiji.
Fiji Ports Corporation Limited chief executive officer Mr Vajira Piyasena said the MOU is important because both parties deal with the operational aspect of the fishing vessels and that the information exchange will benefit a partnership that works for the best interest of the nation.
Fiji is currently in the final stages of reviewing the National Plan of Action (NPOA) on IUU fishing, the Tuna Development and Management Plan and the formulation of the NPOA on Sharks.