Mapping the future of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture management with assistance from the Pacific Community (SPC) will be a priority for Pacific fisheries leaders when they gather in Noumea, New Caledonia, in March 2017.

The biennial Heads of Fisheries meeting, scheduled for 14 to 17 March at SPC headquarters, will bring together fisheries officials from up to 22 Pacific Island countries and territories, as well as fisheries and aquaculture experts from regional and global research and development agencies.

Pacific people are custodians of around one quarter of the world’s ocean resources – including the world’s biggest tuna fishery – so what happens in the region also has global implications.

SPC’s Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems Division (FAME) is tasked with providing scientific advice and technical assistance to SPC’s 22 member countries and territories to help inform decisions on the management and development of their aquatic resources, and  build the capacity needed to implement these decisions.

“The Heads of Fisheries meeting plays a strategic role in providing guidance to the Pacific Community’s Coastal and Oceanic Fisheries programmes. In essence, it determines our priorities and work plans, and how we can best utilise our expertise to effectively assist the region,” SPC’s FAME Division Director, Moses Amos, said.

“It also gives us an opportunity to discuss emerging opportunities and challenges for the Pacific region across a range of issues including economics in both coastal and oceanic fisheries, future data needs and directions, and upcoming fisheries initiatives that SPC will undertake with respective governments and partner agencies,” Mr Amos said.

Also high on the agenda at the four-day meeting with be the implementation of A new song for coastal fisheries – pathways to change: the Noumea strategy to achieve sustainable inshore fisheries, underpinned by community-based approaches that provide food security, long-term economic, social and ecological benefits to Pacific Islands communities.

The new song initiative was developed in 2015 by over 100 participants representing fisheries and environment departments across the region.

In combining traditional fishing practices with modern science, we are the regional lead agency supporting sustainable coastal fisheries.

Media contact:
Camille Marteau, Assistant Communication Officer, [email protected] or +687 98 64 43

Useful links:
SPC Fisheries Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems Division
Summary of the 9th Heads of Fisheries Meeting

Photo credit:
Q. Hanich