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Pacific Maritime Surveillance Partnership statement

Hon Murray McCully
Minister of Foreign Affairs

1 September 2012 Media Statement

Pacific Maritime Surveillance Partnership statement

Recognising the centrality of the fisheries resource to sustainable economic development in the Pacific region,
Deeply concerned that illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing is depriving Pacific Island countries and territories of the full benefit of the resource,
Aware that the protection of the value of the fisheries sector requires well-resourced and coordinated monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) activities underpinned by reliable information,
Acknowledging that in 2010 Pacific Island Forum Leaders endorsed the Regional Monitoring Control and Surveillance Strategy as the overarching MCS framework to support the fisheries management objectives of Forum Fisheries Agency members,
Welcoming progress in the development of a Niue Treaty Subsidiary Agreement, scheduled to be completed by the end of 2012, that is intended to foster enhanced cooperation and strengthened enforcement mechanisms in maritime surveillance,
Sharing the view that improved cooperation and coordination between maritime surveillance providers, Pacific Island countries and regional fisheries organisations leads to better targeted surveillance activities and, in turn, improved fisheries management outcomes,
Australia, France, New Zealand and the United States, as the four principal providers of aerial and surface maritime surveillance that supports the efforts of Pacific Island countries, intend to:
(i) Strengthen as far as possible maritime surveillance activities in the Pacific region, with a particular focus on fisheries surveillance, to support sustainable economic development in the region,

(ii) Work closely together, in partnership and through regular consultation with Pacific Island countries, to ensure maritime surveillance activities – including overflights and surface patrols – are coordinated to maximise their operational effectiveness, and

(iii) Improve the exchange, analysis and utilisation of MCS information between maritime surveillance providers and Pacific Island countries, consistent with national and international MCS confidentiality requirements and practices, and to support the capability of Pacific Island countries with a view to improved fisheries management outcomes.

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