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Practical benefits flow from APEC oceans meeting

Practical benefits to flow from APEC oceans meeting

The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, has welcomed the practical outcomes from the meeting of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Environment Ministers, working towards better management of the region’s oceans.

The second APEC Ocean Related Ministerial Meeting (AOMM) was held in Indonesia on September 16 and 17, and attracted ministers and representatives from fisheries, environment, and marine areas of 20 APEC member economies.

The meeting endorsed a Bali Plan of Action, which details practical commitments to domestic and regional action for the sustainable development of oceans, seas and coasts.

“The Bali Plan of Action will guide us on the practical steps to achieve world-leading, sustainable ocean management, development and conservation in our region,” Senator Campbell said.

Key areas of action under the Bali Plan of Action include:

• Illegal fishing: more action at a regional level to combat illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing (IUU fishing) including pursuing the use of more effective compliance tools (At-sea, port-state and trade-related measures) and a commitment to strengthen collaboration on the identification of best practice and regional capacity building; and

• Marine Invasive Species: a range of measures to reduce the significant risks posed by marine invasive species, for example increased training of officials to prevent and manage marine invasive species and to implement domestic, regional and international requirements.

“Indonesia and the Indonesian Minister for Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Mr. H. E Freddy Numberi, are to be congratulated for hosting the APEC meeting and for the very productive discussions we have had, in particular for focusing on addressing fisheries issues of common interest, such as combating IUU fishing,” Senator Campbell said.

“I have invited Mr Numberi to Australia in the near future to further develop our cooperative efforts to combat IUU fishing in the region.

“The Bali Action Plan represents the value of APEC members cooperating on the exchange of research and information on issues like marine invasive species that pose a risk to the marine environment and marine-based industries in the Asia Pacific region,” Senator Campbell said.

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