Fisheries sector tops PIF’s agenda

The Fisheries sector will be one of the main areas of discussion and action during the 47th Pacific Island Forum (PIF) Summit in the Federated States of Micronesia.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, who arrived in FSM today said another significant sectors to be discussed also is the issue of climate change and extreme weather.

O’Neill said he expects the economic returns from the fisheries sector to improve through the work undertaken by the Pacific Islands Forum.

“Excellent work is being undertaken by the Fisheries Task Force through cooperation at a regional level,” O’Neill said from Pohnpei in a statement.

“The Fisheries Task Force is working to a program called for by Leaders to develop a program to increase economic returns from fisheries within 5 years.”

He added that improving economic returns from fisheries has positive implications for multiple stakeholders including not only fisheries operators and their employees, but also associated sectors.

“One of the keys for Papua New Guinea is to expand our downstream processing so that we add more value before we export.”

 “Pacific Islands Forum states are the most climate change vulnerable communities in the world.

“Already many people have lost their lives, their homes have been destroyed and some communities unable to return to their land.

“Forum nations are in agreement that we have to bring pressure on polluting countries to reduce their emissions, and for at-risk communities to be able to access resources to help protect themselves.

“Papua New Guinea was the first country to submit the Post- COP21 Climate Action Plan. We have also ratified the Bill on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement.

“The commitment by the United States and China to ratify the Agreement is further welcomed.”

Freddy Mou