The Fisheries Division of the Ministry of Agriculture held consultations for the review of the Tuna Fisheries Management and Development Plan 2011 – 2015 on 28th May 2015.
The consultations, which took place at the Fisheries Division in Apia, included Government Ministries, Non Governmental Organisations and stakeholders to review the performance of the current “Tuna Plan” – which has guided the development and management of the tuna fisheries for Samoa for the last five years – and to initiate discussions for the formulation of the next Plan.
Samoa’s key tuna fishery is the southern albacore long line fishery which, despite the decline in catches over the years, continues to be the main export commodity for Samoa.
According to the Fisheries Division, the lifespan of the Plan has not been smooth as Samoa’s fishery continues to be affected by increased fishing efforts over the years within our region, and locally the increase in fuel prices and operational costs have also been unhelpful. A number of new issues is expected to shape the new Plan, with one being the implementation of catch limits declared under the Tokelau Arrangement, which Samoa has signed.
The review was conducted with assistance from the Forum Fisheries Agency and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.