The Fiji Times » Voices need to be heard on fisheries
Fiji and the Pacific have voices that need to be heard when it comes to fisheries.
And Trade and Tourism Minister Faiyaz Koya said that was why Fiji had maintained a strong position in its multilateral negotiations over fishing affiliates at the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Negotiations on fisheries subsidies, he said, are on the agenda of the WTO as an expected outcome of the 12and Ministerial Conference to be held later this year.
“We will only approve agreements that focus on sustainable development; that protect and preserve our fisheries resources; and which also take into account our development needs,” Koya said at the Fiji Seascape Symposium that ended Friday at the GPH in Suva.
“In the context of Fiji, 65% of the population are coastal dwellers and include 850 coastal communities – all of whose livelihoods depend on small-scale fishing.
“So for us, maintaining our fisheries is important to the socio-economic prosperity of our nation and our people.”
Mr. Koya said that over the years Fiji had made strong commitments, including:
- Commitment to sustainably manage Fiji’s entire ocean by 2030 with 30% designated as marine protected areas; and this commitment has been enshrined in law through our National Oceans Policy and Climate Change Act;
- The commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050; and commitment to a carbon-free domestic shipping sector by 2050.
He said these commitments made moral and economic sense.
“Fiji’s fisheries are a perfect example. We cannot support an economic model that strips and eventually depletes our ocean of marine life.
“It would deprive our people of livelihoods and a vital source of food.
“The challenge we face today is how to meet current and future demand while preserving fishing grounds for future generations.
“We can achieve this by disciplining certain practices and actions of those who extract resources from the oceans.”