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NZ support for the Pacific’s ‘Blue Economy’

Hon Murray McCully

Minister of Foreign Affairs
30 July 2014 Media Statement

NZ support for the Pacific’s ‘Blue Economy’

Foreign Minister Murray McCully has welcomed the Oceans theme of the 2014 Pacific Islands Forum and announced new support for efforts to monitor illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

“New Zealand is committed to the development of the blue economy in the Pacific, and in particular the sustainable management of the region’s fisheries,” Mr McCully says.

“Last year, over US$3.3 billion worth of tuna was harvested from Pacific waters, yet only 14 per cent of that value made its way back to Pacific nations.

“While Pacific countries are working successfully with regional agencies to boost their returns from fisheries, they have the right to expect a larger share of their greatest natural resource.

“New Zealand has committed $66 million over the next five years for fisheries management and development in the Pacific.

“Today we are announcing a further $4.6 million to improve the management of fisheries information in the region. Sharing and analysing fisheries data is vital for monitoring and enforcement.

“Our funding will implement national fisheries information management systems in all Forum Fisheries Agency countries, setting up e-reporting and e-monitoring of catch and stocks, and facilitating better coordination across the Pacific region.

“Today New Zealand has also signed the Niue Treaty Subsidiary Agreement on regional fisheries cooperation. This valuable tool enhances cooperation in the areas of fisheries surveillance, enforcement, and information sharing in the Pacific.

“In a month’s time oceans will once again be in the spotlight at the UN Small Islands Developing States conference in Apia. At the conference New Zealand will team up with the Pacific Island Forum Fisheries Agency to showcase how the region is using its collective strength to improve management and secure larger economic benefits from fisheries,” Mr McCully says.

Mr McCully is in Palau for the 45th Pacific Islands Forum.

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