Fisheries and Maritime Resource Minister Jelta Wong with seven Pacific Island Fisheries Ministers and other senior officials in the Pacific arrived in Kokopo, East New Britain over the weekend to attend the Pacific Islands Ministers East New Britain Initiative Dialogue.
The meeting is scheduled to take place today, Monday September 04th at the Gazelle International Hotel, and this dialogue will prepare Pacific leaders to have one voice in the 8th Pacific Tuna Forum, which is set to take place from the 6th to the 7th of September in Port Moresby.
The theme of this East New Britain Initiative is, “Our Fish, Our Future- by the Pacific for the Pacific.
At the arrival of the high profile delegates, Minister Wong highlighted that the initiative is to create more wealth for the Pacific Island Countries, to control the stock of fish which is the Pacific’s own resource.
“Tuna is a growing resource, and it is a migrating resource that moves from one place to another in the Pacific Ocean and every year we lose in illegal, unreported and unregulated Tuna close to about US$45million.”
“Because of this we want to tap into ways and initiatives to stop this illegal fishing in the Pacific region.”
Wong stated that the initiative is to control the Tuna stock so that the world would know that we are united in the Tuna Industry, so that they cannot come and pick off one by one any Pacific Island country.
Furthermore, National Fisheries Authority (NFA) Managing Director Mr. Justin Illakini added that the ENB Initiative provides a platform for all Fisheries Ministers in the Pacific to have the opportunity to dialogue amongst themselves to address two important key issues.
The first key issue is Climate Change, to look at practical ways of implementing and informing the Forum Leaders on development aspirations and how they can continue the Tuna Industry in the Blue Pacific Continent.
The second key issue is to tap into opportunities to maximize economic returns from the Tuna resource.
“This Pacific Islands Ministers East New Britain Initiative Dialogue provides a platform for all Pacific leaders to have the opportunity to have a voice in speaking from their own national level to see how all Pacific islands can collaborate as a region to drive the Pacific Island Interest in the Tuna Industry.”