Monitoring of fishing fleets priorities for Samoa
"Samoa's tuna fishery is unique in the sense that its development was the initiative of domestic fishers.
Our priority is ensuring their interest and future is not threatened. Our domestic tuna long-line fleet are struggling given recent and past catch rates.
According to latest catch records from the region, our domestic fleet only contribute less than 3% of the south pacific albacore catches.
Given the importance and the role of our domestic fleet, their interests should be considered when formulating conservation and management measures for highly migratory species in our region.
Previous years also reflect the current trend towards consistent below-average catches.
I guess the highlight of the past 12 months, is the ability and the resilience of our tuna fleet to adapt and survive these harsh conditions.
Transshipment and providing onshore support played an important role in the past 12 months.
Looking ahead, the main challenge continues to be the effective implementation of proper conservation and management measures especially with the monitoring of the fishing fleets.
Evolving management concerns leading to monitoring requirements for vessels operating in our region has a greater impact on Samoan vessels given additional costs incurred while struggling to survive the current situation with low catches especially with the south pacific albacore.
Samoa however, is fully committed to the conservation and management of highly migratory fish stocks however; we may review our position to pursue reasonable level of development both in zone and high seas so we can realize some level of benefits from these highly migratory resources.”