5th Pacific Tuna Forum 2015 / by Francisco Blaha

The biggest tuna industry gathering in the Western and Central Pacific region, the 5th Pacific Tuna Forum is scheduled from 22-23 September 2015 at the Sofitel Resort, Denarau, Nadi, Fiji.  More than 250 delegates are expected to be part of this Pacific tuna meeting with over 30 well known speakers scheduled to speak at the event.

 Tuna... is what the whole deal is about...

Tuna... is what the whole deal is about...

This years theme is Achieving Optimal Economic Benefits through Sustainable Tuna Management and Development and the keynote presentation is by the boss of PNA, my colleague and friend Transform Aqorau, that said:

"There has been a lot of development in the Western and Central Pacific with low tuna prices and increased catches in the high seas areas that have impacted the industry. The Pacific Tuna Forum 2015 offers an opportunity for governments, industry and other service providers to the industry to hear what each has to say about what is happening. There has been a greater focus on the PNA Purse Seine Vessel Day Scheme (VDS) and the transformative power of the VDS. We have also seen the resurgence of the WTPO which have coagulated around the low tuna price and have taken voluntary measures for their members to stay in port for 10 days, and a surge in interest in MSC and FAD free tuna from the supermarkets. All these developments will be discussed by practitioners. The Pacific Tuna Forum 2015 presents an excellent opportunity for all those interested in the largest tuna fisheries in the world to hear from vessel operators, traders, processors and regulators about what is happening globally in the tuna world"

I have asked again to be one of the presenters (I been a speaker every year since 2011), and like last year on a double act, initially I'll be presenting the work of my friend Gilles Hosch on Catch Documentation Schemes (CDS),  since he at the time would be in FSM at the WCPFC Working Group (WG) talking about the work he did on best practices for Tuna CDS and the work out of our expert consultation work in recently in Rome. Initially I was also asked to be there with him, but it was no point for both to assist, so i'll bring his message to the Forum while he takes mine to the WG.

Since the Pacific Island Countries have significantly experienced the effects of the EU’s role as the world IUU fisheries evaluator (there are more “yellow cards” in the PICs than in any other region in the world in relation to their population and development status) I was asked to make presentation on this topic. 

I will not dwell in the perceived politics or unfairness of the situation, but more constructively on the advances that this “yellow cards” have catalyzed in the Pacific regions in terms of MCS and related control systems, and particularly the in regards the strengthening of the EU Catch Certification Scheme with the support of the DEVFISH II/FFA Programme. Including the incorporation of elements of the PSMA as to be working towards a pacific wide Catch Certification Scheme as a tool to offset the administrative and economic burden that compliance with the EU scheme has enacted in the PICs.

There has been an overwhelming response from tuna industry players from not only within the region but from other parts of the world.  For details of the event and to register please visit: http://infofish.org/index.php/pacific-tuna-forum-2015/