9 April 2015
In March, Tokelau took part in the discussions on fisheries issues in the region at the 9th Head of Fisheries (HoF) meeting held in Noumea, New Caledonia.
The meeting focused on new management initiatives and development to ensure fisheries, both coastal and oceanic, are managed sustainably. The discussions included the impacts of environmental and natural occurrence as well as the effect of human behaviour and they we live.
The meeting attended by Offshore Fisheries Officer, Tulotoomeatiga (Tiga) Galo, concentrated on the importance of fisheries to island countries, not only as revenue generators but more importantly for food security.
The meeting provided a forum for Heads of Fisheries to develop a strategic plan of action based on the common needs of members. It was also an indication for individual countries as to where their specific fisheries development are at, and what approach should be taken in regards to the development to sustainable coastal fisheries, according to the Offshore Fisheries Officer.
“The meeting considered various issues, with the main focus on oceanic and coastal fisheries but it also touched on elements that affect most of the regions low lying islands. It is also about managing human behaviour in relation to practices more than managing the fish”, Tiga said.
“It was constructive! The issues raised during the meeting showcased the fact that most of the participating countries have developed part of their coastal fisheries to allow the generation of income, like small community owned businesses. For Tokelau the focus was ensuring food security is maintained and managed at a sustainable level for its people”, the officer added.
“There is always a lot of work to be done in order to improve or keep the fisheries at current levels in terms of development and sustaining our resources. The problems are standard/similar across the region but to different extent. We are grateful for the ongoing support and assistance provided by the regional organisations like SPC and FFA”, Ms Galo expresses