Victory for the Pacific as Japan gives way on tuna boat observer safety

Five observers have died or been murdered at sea in the past 6 years while providing regional scientists and compliance officials with the information they need to ensure the sustainability of tuna stocks.

The new measures were nearly lost as Japan refused to join the consensus, despite a week of talks.

As discussions hit barriers late on Friday, members were ready to take an unprecedented move and put the issue to vote. 

Obstacles to improved safety of vital tuna boat observers

Observers, many of whom come from Pacific countries, play a vital but dangerous role collecting data on catch sizes, species taken and other marine creatures that get caught accidentally.

The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency recommended several measures for deliberation at the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission this week.

However late yesterday afternoon FFA Deputy Director General Wez Norris described it has a “fairly frustrating process of negotiations so far.”

Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat accredited as an Observer to the Green Climate Fund

The announcement further improves opportunities for cooperation between the Pacific region and the GCF. Late last year Fiji’s Urban Water Supply and Wastewater Management Project was one of the first eight from around the world to be approved for funding, and earlier this week Cook Islands became the first Pacific country and Small Island Developing State to receive a readiness support grant from the GCF.