Press Release – Pacific Islands Tuna Industry Association – PITIA
Subsidies Threaten Local Pacific Fishing Fleets PITIA members workshop today continued with actively debating the issue of subsidies that are provided to other fleets in the region. This impacts on the ability of domestic fleets to compete on a level …PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE USE
16 November 2012
Subsidies Threaten Local Pacific Fishing Fleets
PITIA members workshop today continued with actively debating the issue of subsidies that are provided to other fleets in the region.
This impacts on the ability of domestic fleets to compete on a level playing field. The WTO Doha rounds have collapsed removing the possibility of classifying subsidies and bringing action at WTO for harmful subsidies. This leaves PITIA members in a vulnerable position where fleets sharing our waters operate under subsidy arrangements and sell into the same markets.
This is particularly evident with respect to the Chinese albacore longline fleet and very little can be done by Pacific Islands governments largely due to factors outside the fisheries arena.
PITIA will develop public statements that outline these issues and its impact on domestic industry sustainable development, lobby its national governments to do the same and seek to better understand the extent and nature of harmful subsidies.
Russell Dunham from Fiji Boat Owner’s Association had made a statement at the beginning of the forum on this issue which PITIA fully supports.
Other areas that were covered included certification processes and practical considerations of that should be extended to industry given the high costs of such a process. The Marine Stewardship Council was present and spoke on the benefits of a certified fishery.
The opportunity to form strategic partnerships with other organisations such as the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and big international Non-Government Organisations such as WWF and GreenPeace was discussed.
PITIA also had the opportunity to hold its 2012 Annual General Meeting and reelected Charles Hufflett of Fiji as Chair, Pedro C. Celso as Vice-chair and Tricia Emberson of Tonga as Secretary/Treasurer, with a board consisting of representatives from PITIA member countries.
The Chair thanks the Pacific Corporation Foundation, Forum Fisheries Agency and the DevFish II Project for their support that has enabled this 3 day forum to take place.
About Pacific Islands Tuna Industry Association (PITIA)
With its membership covering 14 Pacific Island countries and several national industry associations, the Pacific Islands Tuna Industry Association (PITIA) provides information and services to its members to encourage information and engagement of industry in key policy decisions affecting their businesses. www.pitia.org