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Media Center > Cabinet Releases > 23/4/13 - STRENGTHENING OF THE OFFSHORE FISHERIES DIVISION APPROVED

23/4/13 - STRENGTHENING OF THE OFFSHORE FISHERIES DIVISION APPROVED

4/23/2013
Cabinet has approved capacity strengthening of the Offshore Fisheries Division in the Ministry of Fisheries and Forests.

This will allow for the effective implementation of the Offshore Fisheries Management Decree (OFMD) 2012, especially provisions encompassing international and regional obligations for combating Illegal, Unreported And Unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Cabinet based its decision on a submission by the Minister for Fisheries and Forests, Colonel Inia Seruiratu.

The Minister said that IUU is a global phenomenon valued at USD30b annually.

He said that the European Union (EU), which is by far the world’s biggest importer of fish, seafood and aquaculture products, requires all third countries exporting their fish and fishery products to adhere to strict compliance with their EU IUU Regulations as well international and regional arrangements on sustainable fishery.

The Minister said that the EU market is an important market for Fiji especially for those in the domestic industry that have invested in their vessels and processing factories to comply with the stringent EU SPS measures.

The Minister further said that Fiji’s Offshore Fishing Industry is one of the most stable and fastest growing industries and our markets include Japan, the United States of America, Thailand, American Samoa, China, Chinese Taipei, Australia, New Zealand and the European Union.

“Total export from Fiji’s tuna industry in 2011 was 41,200 metric tonnes, 75% of which originated from outside of its waters but landed and passed through local processing factories.”

He said that Fiji’s resolve to align to the EU IUU Regulation will be further strengthened with the development of an Offshore Fisheries Management Regulation in consultation with the Solicitor- General’s Office.

-ENDS-
 
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