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SPC fisheries meeting takes on the impact of climate change

Taotasi Archie Soliai
Access to and utilization of fisheries and aquaculture data also on agenda

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The 16th Pacific Community Heads of Fisheries Meeting opened on Monday, April 22, at the Pacific Community (SPC) headquarters in Noumea, New Caledonia. This year’s meeting chair — American Samoa’s Director of the Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources (DMWR) Taotasi Archie Soliai, welcomed the delegates reminding them of the challenges faced from overfishing, climate change, and the degradation of marine ecosystems.

Issues under discussion included strategic direction for SPC’s work in the field of fisheries, marine ecosystems and aquaculture.  This week also provides an opportunity to discuss contemporary challenges, lessons learned, and potential solutions in addressing the impact of climate change and the access and utilization of fisheries and aquaculture data, Taotasi said. “Our aim is to identify actionable steps and priorities towards creating a sustainable and resilient fishery.

“As leaders in fisheries and marine ecosystems management, we are acutely aware of the challenges we face now and in the future. Overfishing, climate change, and the degradation of marine ecosystems represent just a few of the complex issues confronting our region. These challenges require our immediate attention and decisive action. By working together as a unified body with a shared vision and commitment, we can develop effective strategies to ensure the long-term sustainability of our marine resources.

“Despite the ongoing challenges, we remain committed to finding solutions and making progress towards a sustainable and resilient fishery in our region. We continue to show resilience towards the current issues facing our countries and our blue Pacific continent, drawing on our rich cultural heritage and knowledge of our Ocean.”

The SPC's Heads of Fisheries meeting provides oversight of all SPC's work in the field of fisheries and aquaculture, as well as an opportunity to discuss relevant topics of regional interest. It covers SPC's Oceanic and Coastal Fisheries and Aquaculture Programs, and Directors Office, which collectively form the Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystem Division of SPC. 

Some of the items on the 5-day agenda, which runs through Friday, April 26, include:

Members’ update and key priorities

Implementation of SPC Strategic Plan 2022-2031

Regional aquaculture strategy and aquatic biosecurity framework

Tuna Fisheries’ Monitoring National observer program

Climate change activity report and vulnerability assessment

Tuna Fisheries Data Management System

Gender and social inclusion in fisheries

Unlocking Blue Pacific Prosperity

This will be the second fully in-person Heads of Fisheries meeting since the pandemic.


Sources: Taotasi Archie Soliai and SPC background data