Vanuatu aims to improve tuna industry

Growing a strong and sustainable tuna fishing industry is the focus of talks this week in Port Vila.

The Fisheries Department organised the talks, and Department Director, William Naviti, says Vanuatu needs a new management plan that will guide the development of the industry.

Mr Naviti says Vanuatu wants to join other countries in the region who have established sustainable fisheries.

He says this week’s workshop aims to review and update Vanuatu’s Revised Tuna Fishery Management Plan 2014.

He says since that plan was released, many developments have taken place in government policy and management, based in part on new technologies that have emerged to help manage tuna fishing.

“The fishing industry wants to improve and the Government must provide a plan for the management and development of tuna in a balanced manner,” Mr Naviti said.

He says because Vanuatu is adopting new ways of catching fish, it is important that the Government updates frameworks to safeguard the country’s tuna stocks.

The Director General for the Ministry of Fisheries, Moses Amos, says the Government wants the Fisheries Department to ensure Vanuatu reaches its full potential to make money from tuna fishing.

Mr Amos says Vanuatu has richer marine resources than it does land resources and it must make good use of them.

Mr Naviti says Vanuatu has 70 registered flagged fishing vessels which each pay three million vatu per year for fishing licenses.

He says in the future the Government plans to sell daily and monthly, not just annual, fishing licenses.

Every year 15 thousand metric tonne of tuna is caught in Vanuatu waters and ten thousand of those are albacore tuna.

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