VDS Remains Effective In Pacific: Hon Maelanga

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Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Manasseh Maelanga during the 47th Pacific Islands Forum Plenary formal session yesterday (Friday 9th September).

Solomon Islands has commended the Vessel Day Scheme (VDS) as proving to be a highly effective sustainable tuna management initiative for the PNA (Parties to the Nauru Agreement) sub-region.

Deputy Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Maelanga who heads the SIG delegation to the 47 Pacific Islands Forum said that the results of regional tuna management mechanism adopted in the region are paying dividends to Pacific countries and he commended the Pacific Leaders for the decision.

“The leaders endorsement in 2015 to increase economic returns from fisheries is welcoming and the progress so far in implementing this decision is commendable,” he said.

Hon Maelanga added that, “Solomon Islands thanks the Fisheries Taskforce for their positive collaboration in ensuring pragmatism and effective management, monitoring and surveillance is positively enhanced in the region.”

On offshore fisheries, the Deputy Prime Minister said the Vessel Day Scheme implemented by PNA remains the effective system for the PNA region.

He said Solomon Islands appreciates the revenues coming in from this system as well as the issue of sustainability associated with it and as such it will continue to maintain the purse seine VDS alongside all PNA members.”

On the reform of the Long Line Fishery, the Deputy Prime Minister said Solomon Islands concurs on this initiative, however the approach that members will take to implement it must be nationally- driven.

He said Solomon Islands, for instance, has implemented on trail the VDS for the long line fishery.”

Regarding inshore fisheries, Hon Maelanga said Solomon Islands shares concern that many of the Pacific Islands coastal fisheries are either fully or over-exploited.

He added that, “We must however accept the fact that our coastal people rely much on these resources for food and economic returns.”

On this note, the Deputy Prime Minister proposed to other Pacific leaders to acknowledge that the PNA VDS remains the effective fisheries management system for the PNA sub region and for the leaders to agree that CROP agencies will continue to work closely with national authorities of individual Pacific countries to make proper assessment and value added recommendations that will have tangible results for the region. CROP stands for Council of Regional Organisations in the Pacific.

Hon Maelanga today joined other Pacific leaders for the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders retreat in Ponphei before returning with his delegation to Solomon Islands on next Tuesday, 13th September 2016.