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Pacific nations look at NZ's fisheries

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 11/04/2016
Foreign Minister Murray McCully © Bloomberg Foreign Minister Murray McCully

The government is set to show off New Zealand's fishing management to Pacific politicians in an effort to get a similar system introduced in the region.

On Tuesday 10 fisheries ministers from across the region will meet Foreign Minister Murray McCully in New Zealand following a Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) agreement to look at bringing in a quota-based system.

At the moment fishing vessels in the region pay a daily fee to catch as much fish as they like, which has raised concerns some fisheries could become unsustainable over time.

The New Zealand government has committed $50 million to help support the development of a quota system and boost monitoring and enforcement systems to protect Pacific fish stocks over the next three years.

Ministers from the Cook Islands, Micronesia, Fiji, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu will spend this week touring New Zealand and getting first-hand experience about country's fisheries management.

"The Pacific's largest asset economic asset is its fisheries and we are committed to helping Pacific nations to manage this resource in a sustainable way," Mr McCully said.

"A regional catch-based management regime will provide Pacific governments with the information they need to address illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, and more effectively manage the resource."

The ministers will visit the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology and attend meetings in Auckland Wellington.

PIF leaders want to see an increase in economic benefits from the Pacific's fisheries in the next five years.

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