Palau’s President, Johnson Toribiong, has told the United Nations that if distant water vessels want to fish in Pacific waters, they must respect the laws of the region.
“Fishing is not a right. It is a privilege. For too long, the exploitation of tuna has overridden its conservation. This imbalance is not sustainable. It must be reversed,” Toribiong said.
He says vessels should fish within prescribed limits and share the benefits of Palau’s natural resources in a fair and equitable manner.
Meanwhile the Commercial Manager to the Parties of the Nauru Agreement (PNA) Maurice Brownjohn, says PNG needs genuine long term partners in its fishing industry, not ‘investors’ who just want cheap licenses and are ‘mere conduits to move unprocessed fish and profits offshore.”
Brownjohn says PNG’s share in the global tuna trade is negligible, beyond selling access.