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Australian To Head New Pacific Fisheries Com.

Australian To Head New Pacific Fisheries Commission

In an historic move, the nations of the Pacific, and other supporting countries, have inaugurated a new fisheries commission to manage tuna stocks in the Western and Central Pacific and have named an Australian as chairman of the new group.

The Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission was launched this week in Pohnpei, by the President of the Federated States of Micronesia, Mr Joseph J Urusemal.

In what he called a ‘coup’ for Australia's involvement in the region, the Australian Minister for Fisheries, Senator Ian Macdonald, said that the General Manager of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Branch in the Australian Department of Fisheries, Mr Glen Hurry, was appointed to head the Commission.

“Since 1999, Mr Hurry has been the Australian Commissioner to the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna, he was also the Lead Shepherd (Chair) of APEC Fisheries Working Group from 1998 to 2001 and Chair of the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia in 2001,” Senator Macdonald said in Pohnpei.

“Mr Hurry has led the delegation from Australia to the preparatory conferences for this new commission since 2000.

“I am sure Mr Hurry's appointment will ensure the Commission's formative years are effective and bring real management to highly migratory fish stocks in the Western and Central Pacific.”

“I am delighted that an Australian has earned this important and influential role.

“It is a personal honour to Mr Hurry for his commitment, ability and expertise. It is also recognition of the role that Australia has played in the formation of the commission, and our determination to see fish stocks in the Pacific are sustainably managed.

“It also underpins Prime Minister John Howard’s commitment to ensure the economic independence of Pacific island nations through the sustainable use of the fish resources that are so very important to the economies of island nations and the job creation prospects for Pacific islanders.”

The new Commission also elected Mr Liu Xiaobing from China as the Deputy Chair of the Commission.

08 December 2005

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