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The Importance of regional cooperation between Pacific Island Countries for fisheries management and to increase the benefits for Pacific Islanders

Apr 27, 2020 / by James Sloan posted in Oceans Law, Human Rights, Pacific, human rights at sea, Flags of convenience, Labour standards at sea, human rights abuses at sea, Parties to the Nauru Agreement, UNCLOS, International Law, Maritime boundaries, Sovereignty, Traditional fishing rights, Integrated Oceans Management Policy, fisheries management, Environmental governance, Environmental decision making, fisheries law, Fiji commercial lawyers, Law of the Sea Convention, Sovereign Rights, Integrated Oceans Management Pacific, traditional rights, Pacific Blue Economy, Blue Economy, Pacific Island Rights, Tuna fisheries, WCPFC, Tuna Management Pacific, Covid-19, Pacific Island Fisheries

In accordance with the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS) Pacific Island Countries (PICs) have the use and management rights to the resources within and under huge areas of Pacific ocean. These rights include the exclusive sovereign rights to use and manage all of the resources in these ocean spaces and on and under the seabed. However, there remains disagreement between some PICs over where the maritime boundaries should be drawn as well as a lack of a unified position in relation to how the resources should be exploited.

As the world goes through unprecedented change due to the Covid-19 pandemic, renewed cooperation among PICs is more important than ever to secure better governance, more effective fisheries management and more benefits from the resources flowing back to Pacific Islanders.

Dr Transform Aqorau has recently published an insightful article that explains some of the resilience more Pacific based tuna operations are experiencing in the face of Covid-19. This is available here.

In this legal bulletin we set out an explanation of the law and governance context that we hope explains why and how more regional cooperation to implement a shared plan with more transparency at regional and national levels will benefit Pacific Islanders.

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Covid-19 and tuna fisheries in the Pacific - Dr Transform Aqorau has published an update with implications and insights for Pacific Development

Apr 27, 2020 / by Dr Transform Aqorau via Siwatibau and Sloan posted in Pacific Island Rights, Tuna fisheries, Tuna Management Pacific, Covid-19, Pacific Island Fisheries

Early effects of Covid-19 on the Pacific fisheries

It is still too early to tell how the world will deal with the longer term effects of Covid-19, will it shrug it off and return to normal? Does Covid-19 provide new opportunities to do things differently? Is there an opportunity for things to be better? In the Pacific and for Pacific Islanders both the value of tuna resources (renewable if managed properly) and the fact that more benefits should be flowing directly to Pacific Islanders have been acknowledged for sometime.

However, how to realise more benefits for Pacific Islanders from a resource that they have the exclusive rights to manage and benefit from, while dealing with threats from multiple sources, is a complex challenge with no simple answer.

Thankfully, Dr Transform Aqorau, has published an excellent and thought provoking piece titled: COVID-19 and its likely impact on the tuna industry in the Pacific Islands 

Amongst other things, Dr Transform points to increased cooperation among Pacific Island governments and more involvement of Pacific Islanders. His piece supports an interesting idea that Covid-19 gives rise to- do we want to go back to the old normal or is there an opportunity for something better? 

Dr Transform's full article can be viewed either below or where it was first published, the Devpolicy blog: here

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