First Pacific regional judicial symposium sets sights on fisheries

Members of the judiciary from around the Pacific and experts in international law are attending the first Pacific regional judicial symposium to promote responsible fisheries management in the Solomon Islands this week. 

Discussions at the Symposium will focus on the responsibility of states, international organisations and people in the governance of fisheries under international law. 

“Globally, this area of international law is relatively new and gaining prominence and it is essential that members of the judiciary are appraised,” said the Chief Justice of the Solomon Islands, Sir Albert Palmer.  

“This symposium provides an opportunity for our region to be a pioneer in considering the attribution of responsibility in fisheries to States, international organisations, and persons.”

Sir Albert added the balance that the region is aiming for is between economic and social leverage of fisheries resources on one side and sustainability on the other. 

“This issue of balance will no doubt be illuminated by our discussions this week on matters such as due diligence, arbitration and dispute resolution; flag, port and coastal States responsibilities; the role of Regional Fisheries Management Organisations; the role of the Forum Fisheries Agency (F.F.A.); and responsibility under international law. 

“This symposium is an opportunity to share our knowledge and commitment to a sustainable development agenda, as we drive towards higher fisheries standards in our region. Illegal fishing will also take a lead role this year, as a key driver for ensuring responsibility in fisheries.”

The F.F.A Director General, Dr. Manumatavai Tupou-Roosen, said fisheries play a major role for Pacific islands culture, food security and economic development. 

“It is for these fundamental reasons that our F.F.A. members take their responsibility in fisheries very seriously and continue to set world-leading standards. 

“This judicial symposium is significant – it is an expression of that commitment.”

This year’s symposium is occurring at a landmark time for F.F.A. – in the very week of the Agency’s 40th anniversary.

The symposium is held at the F.F.A. Conference Centre in Honiara, Solomon Islands. 

A June Ministers meeting of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency called for more progress to be made on joint regional strategies for making tuna fishing across the region more sustainable and more efficient. 

The organisation's Regional Longline strategies seeks to establish norms between member states for longline fishing limits and to make long line fishing more efficient but also more sustainable. 

The  fishing industry provided nearly 25,00 jobs in 2016 to F.F.A. member states. 

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