Honiara, 20 September 2023: In a two-day intensive deliberation, the Tuna Management and Development Plan working group, consisting of dedicated staff from various sections, including compliance, licensing, statistics, Electronic Monitoring, and the Fisheries Observer Program, convened to revisit and enhance existing strategies for sustainable tuna resource management.
The workshop was held to assess the current state of tuna resource management and improve innovative approaches to ensure its long-term sustainability.
Addressing the committee before the workshop commenced, supervising Deputy Director Offshore Division Mr. Harold Vilia underscored the urgency of the situation, noting that the existing management document had a four-year expiration date, necessitating a thorough review and the identification of any existing gaps in the current plan.
“It is our responsibility as fisheries officers in the Offshore division to ensure this resource is managed sustainably while optimizing the economic and social benefits it offers,” stated Mr. Vilia. “This commitment is not only an obligation to our nation but also reflects our responsibility to regional and international groups.”
Mr. Vilia further highlighted that the Tuna Management Plan not only signifies their capacity to fulfil these obligations but also serves as a crucial guide in determining the future of tuna resource management. He stressed the committee’s pivotal role in developing a comprehensive Tuna Management and Development Plan that is inclusive and aligned with the strategic goals of the Ministry’s Corporate Plan and the National Fisheries Policy.
The working group deliberated a wide range of topics, including monitoring and enforcement of fishing regulations, data collection and analysis, licensing procedures, and strategies for ensuring the sustainability of tuna populations. Experts from various fields shared their insights and experiences, fostering a collaborative atmosphere aimed at crafting effective solutions for the long-term management of this vital marine resource.
The workshop concluded with a commitment from all participants to continue working diligently to draft a comprehensive and forward-thinking Tuna Management and Development Plan that will not only meet domestic needs but also align with international standards. This effort reflects the dedication of the Ministry of Fisheries to preserving the tuna resource for generations to come while maximizing its economic and social benefits for the country.
The new management plan when implemented will contribute to the improved and effective management of our tuna resource in the country, in the region and more so to global efforts to ensure the sustainability of this invaluable marine resource.