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Vanuatu welcomes Pacific Fisheries Ministers

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by July 5, 2016 Regional News

Pacific Ministers of Fisheries are in Port Vila this week for talks aimed at ensuring best economic benefits and sustainable futures for the region’s shared tuna resources.

Prime Minister Charlot Salwai will be giving the official keynote to Ministers tonight (Monday 4 July) at the Farea Pacifik Convention Centre, at Le Lagon/Warwick, with Minister Matai Seremaia Nawalu to lead the welcoming ceremonies for his Pacific colleagues. [restrict]

As host of the 13th Forum Fisheries Committee Ministerial, Vanuatu is also taking on the role of Chair of the FFC for the next 12 months, taking over from Tuvalu.

“The Chairing of the FFC Ministerial and our hosting of regional Ministers is a chance to showcase our work, opportunities and challenges to the region,” says Vanuatu’s Director of Fisheries Kalo Pakoa.

“As the meeting rotates amongst the 17 members of the Forum Fisheries, Vanuatu will not expect to host the ministerial for 16 more years, so I thank the taskforce team helping to organise the work behind the scenes ensuring that we make the most of bringing the regional focus on Tuna Fisheries, to our shores.” he says.

Topical issues on the regional agenda are likely to include discussions of the 2016 launch of a Pacific report quantifying IUU fishing in Pacific EEZs, with recommendations on next steps. The FFA workplan, budget and administrative issues are an ongoing part of the meeting agenda. Ministers will also be looking at outcomes of the recently concluded US Treaty talks in Auckland, New Zealand, and issues to go before the Pacific Forum Leaders when they meet in Pohnpei, FSM, this September.

“Oceanic and coastal Fisheries are a key part of Vanuatu’s resource base, and as a member of the FFA nations steeping into the role of chair, we are keen to develop and enjoy the economic benefits of sustainable fisheries management,” says Pakoa. “We look forward to hosting a productive meeting and showing our Pacific visitors the legendary hospitality of our people.”

Forum Fisheries officials in the Pacific delegations meet today ahead of the formal opening function, with two days of talks rounding off with a Ministerial Retreat, press conference, and closing farewell at the Iririki Resort, on Wednesday. SOURCE: VANUATU GOVT/PACNEWS [/restrict]

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