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US withdrawal from Pacific tuna treaty will take effect next January

Starkist tuna from American Samoa ... A drop in tuna prices in 2015 has been blamed by fishing trade journals as a reason that US fishermen are struggling in the Pacific Ocean. Image: Danny Johnston/LAT

Starkist tuna from American Samoa … A drop in tuna prices in 2015 has been blamed by fishing trade journals as a reason that US fishermen are struggling in the Pacific Ocean. Image: Danny Johnston/LAT

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch in Suva

The decision by the United States to withdraw from the 30-year Tuna Treaty with Pacific Island countries will not take effect until January 2017, says Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) deputy director general Wez Norris.

In his initial response to Pacnews queries, Norris admitted that the impact of the US withdrawal “will be markedly different among individual Pacific Island Parties (PIPs)”.

“Some of them have viable alternative markets that could absorb their fishing days with relatively little impact. Others, however that are reliant on the Treaty to sell their days would struggle to achieve revenues similar to those currently enjoyed, said Norris. Read more »

Novès picks surprise Fijian Sevens wing in France rugby squad

Fiji-born France Sevens wing Virimi Vakatawa ... in the new generation Six Nations squad. Image: Planet Rugby

Fiji-born France Sevens wing Virimi Vakatawa … in the new generation Six Nations squad. Image: Planet Rugby

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch in Paris

France head rugby union coach Guy Novès has sprung a surprise by naming Fiji-born France Sevens wing Virimi Vakatawa in his Six Nations squad that includes eight uncapped players.

After two training camps the new France boss has settled on a squad of 31 to finalise his preparations ahead of their first game against Italy on February 6.

Two big names missing from the final list are fly-half François Trinh-Duc and flanker Bernard le Roux. Trinh-Duc is still recovering from a shinbone injury, has been provisionally left out of the squad and replaced by Toulouse’s Jean-Marc Doussain. Stade Français flank Antoine Burban replaces South African-born Le Roux, who is absent for personal reasons. Read more »

#COP21: The Paris climate agreement: The real work starts now

The more ambitious target of 1.5C will be beyond our reach within a decade or two at current rates of fossil fuel use around the world. Image: Pulse

The more ambitious target of 1.5C will be beyond our reach within a decade or two at current rates of fossil fuel use around the world. Image: Pulse

Pacific Scoop:
Analysis – By
Pep Canadell and Rob Jackson

The Paris climate agreement is an extraordinary achievement. It codifies the long-term goal of keeping global temperature increases below 2°C. It also sets a more ambitious aspirational target of capping global warming at 1.5°C degrees.

But this more ambitious target will be beyond our reach within a decade or two at current rates of fossil fuel use around the world.

Beyond how achievable the goals are, and at what cost they can be achieved, they are aggressive and consistent with minimising the dangerous interference of human activities on the climate system. Read more »

#COP21: World leaders make climate deal history – but not good for Pacific

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch

Delegates from 195 nations have reached an unprecedented agreement on global climate change in the French capital of Paris after years of often fruitless negotiations for a legally binding deal to limit carbon emissions.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius brought the historic UN negotiations in Paris to an end as relieved ministers stood for several minutes to applaud, reports Al Jazeera.

“I see the room, I see the reaction is positive – I hear no objection. The Paris climate accord is adopted,” Fabius declared, officially ending the summit with a knock of a little green hammer. Read more »

COP21: Draft Paris Outcome on table for climate deal includes Pacific options

Draft Paris Agreement on the table ... relief for the moment for Pacific. Image: Politico

Draft Paris Agreement on the table … relief for the moment for Pacific. Image: Politico

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By
Makereta Komai, editor of PACNEWS, in Paris

After a week of negotiations, negotiators from 195 countries have produced a Draft Paris Outcome that is likely to become the new global climate agreement on 11 December.

To the relief of Pacific, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and G77 and China, the proposal by the United States and other developed countries to remove loss and damage from the Paris Agreement is now gone, replaced with a proposal (Option 1) to include it  as a stand-alone Article 5.

The second option wants to push Loss & Damage back to Article 4, alongside the Adaptation provision. Read more »

COP21: Forum’s Meg Taylor makes Pacific video plea to world leaders


Pacific Ocean Commissioner Meg Taylor’s “our future” video message. Video: PIF

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By
Vuniwaqa Bola-Bari

Pacific Ocean Commissioner Dame Meg Taylor has called on world leaders meeting in Paris to protect the Pacific region and the ocean.

In a video, Taylor said world leaders needed to protect the region and the ocean it depended on.

A statement from the Pacific islands Forum Secretariat revealed the video was watched more than 17,000 times in less than 24 hours, illustrating the power of social media to amplify Pacific voices during the Paris-based climate change negotiations. Read more »

COP21: Fiji, Kiribati and Palau back ‘protect oceans’ action proposal

The opening of the indigenous peoples pavilion that showcases cultures and traditions from around the world at COP21 in Paris. Image: SPREP

The opening of the indigenous peoples pavilion that showcases cultures and traditions from around the world at COP21 in Paris. Image: SPREP

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Samisoni Pareti, editor-in-chief, Islands Business magazine, in Paris

Three Pacific island countries of Fiji, Kiribati and Palau have added their support to a European initiative that promotes the impact of climate change on oceans.

Prince Albert II of Monaco is spearheading the initiative, which has the support of 11 countries that included the three Pacific nations, as well as Aruba, Canada, Chile, France, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand and Sweden.

Under this initiative, the group has signed into the “Because the Ocean” declaration, which among other things calls on the United Nations’ panel of climate scientists known as the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change to produce a specific report about the impact of climate change on the ocean. Read more »

PMC director calls on Pacific J-school indy media to ‘step up’

DRobie at Awards 425wide

Pacific Media Centre’s David Robie speaking at the University of the South Pacific journalism awards. Image: Wansolwara

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Pacific Media Watch

Journalism schools need to step up and be more significant and independent players in the region’s news media to ensure the public interest is served well, says journalism professor Dr David Robie.

Dr Robie, who is also director of the Auckland University of Technology’s Pacific Media Centre which publishes Pacific Scoop, made the comment during a seminar on “Journalism as research-Research as journalism” at the University of the South Pacific’s Laucala Campus in Suva.

“I think they need to step up and realise they’re part of the whole communication mix,” he said. Read more »

19 years on, Wansolwara’s student journalists still tackle tough issues

distributing Wansolwara 425tall

Student journalists Avneel Abhishay Chand (left) and Sharol Kondaiya out distributing the latest issue of Wansolwara on the University of the South Pacific campus. Image: Wansolwara

Pacific Scoop:
Special Report – By Kai Ping Lew

The editorial supervisor watches the students like a hawk as they type frantically, occasionally barking questions about their stories.

Her eyes alternate between scanning the laptop in front of her and monitoring the progress of her reporters-in-training doing their best to meet the looming print deadline.

The modest classroom is a makeshift newsroom, home to the award-winning University of South Pacific’s Wansolwara student newspaper. “Wansolwara is pidgin for “one ocean, one people” and the newspaper covers serious local and regional issues. Read more »

Rainbow Warrior campaign pushes spotlight on Pacific fish ‘laundering’

Crew of illegal fishing vessel Shuen De Ching No.888 look on as the Rainbow Warrior pulls up alongside. The Rainbow Warrior travels in the Pacific to expose out of control tuna fisheries. Tuna fishing has been linked to shark finning, overfishing and human rights abuses.

The crew of the illegal fishing vessel Shuen De Ching No.888 watch as the Rainbow Warrior pulls up alongside. Tuna fishing has been linked to shark finning, overfishing and human rights abuses in the Pacific. Image: Greenpeace

Nauru’s recent announcement that it would ban transshipping practices makes it the third Pacific Island country to do so. Asia-Pacific Journalism reports on the impact for the region.

Pacific Scoop:
Report – By Kai Ping Lew

Nauru has joined the Marshall Islands and Tuvalu to become the third country in the Pacific to ban the controversial practice of transhipping.

The ban comes in the wake of the Rainbow Warrior III discovering Taiwanese longliner Shuen De Ching No 888 operating illegally in its waters, including offloading its catch to a mothership and keeping incomplete records of its catch.

The practice of transhipping allows longliner vessels to stay out on the high seas without coming to port for long periods at a time by transferring their catch to other ships. Read more »

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