Today, 2nd May 2022 marks the 7th World Tuna Day since the declaration of this important day following the United Nations resolution to recognise and celebrate this important Oceanic Resource “Tuna” in their General Assembly Meeting in 2016.
The theme for the 2022 World Tuna Day is: “OUR TUNA, OUR HERITAGE”. The theme really reflects well in the context of Solomon Islands as, tuna has been part of our culture and tuna have been part of our lives. This is an important day for Solomon Islands, a day to remember the importance of Tuna to our country and to our communities. However, with the COVID-19 restrictions, the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR), with its stakeholders could not make any public events to mark this important day.
Today as we reflect and commemorate on this important day, MFMR would like to reassure its commitments to the development of tuna fisheries as well as commitment towards the sustainable management of our tuna resources. This is demonstrated in our collaboration with other regional and international stakeholders. In this regards MFMR continues to work closely with the Pacific Islands Fisheries Forum Agency (FFA), the Secretariat Pacific Community (SPC), Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) and other regional countries to ensure Solomon Islands receives maximum economic benefits from the harvest of our tuna resources, and at the same time ensuring our tuna resources are managed sustainably.
Today, with the demand for tuna globally, the resource needs to be sustainably well managed. Tuna contribute significantly to our country’s revenue, it creates job opportunities to our people and is a source of food and livelihood to our communities, so truly, as Solomon Islanders, “OUR TUNA, is OUR HERITAGE”.
As we join others around the globe to celebrate World Tuna day, especially our brothers and sisters within the PNA and FFA membership, let us look back to our history and reflect on the importance of tuna to our people.
For Solomon Islands, the many successful tuna stories from the Tuna hub of Noro in the Western Province will always stand out as great achievements. We count on more than 2000 jobs created in the tuna fishing and processing sectors. Many other economic activities and benefits directly and indirectly linked to the processing plant in Noro.
The Solomon Islands Government, through MFMR, is also looking at spreading these same tuna economic activities to Bina Harbour in Malaita Province. This is an important project for Malaita Province as well as Solomon Islands as a whole. More jobs opportunities will also be created from Tuna. Creating more jobs means securing social peace and security in our country.
As a Solomon Islander, what is your take today, as you celebrate the World Tuna Day? For many of us, it is clear that Our Tuna is Our Heritage as tuna will continue to provide for us today and into the future.
HAPPY WORLD TUNA DAY ONE AND ALL.
Director of Fisheries