“We have the ability to shape our fisheries in a way that suits our long term needs, feeding and providing for our Pacific Islands. We need to invest in our people, and management of these resources – to give back, as we take out – if we really want to move ahead. We need to speak up more, and stop shying away from things that matter but which might be uncomfortable to raise.(Pamela Maru: quote from the ‘70 Inspiring Pacific Women campaign’)
Since 2014, the annual FAO-convened Vigo Dialogue has aimed to reach consensus amongst stakeholders on promoting decent employment in fisheries and aquaculture as a win-win situation for all. Some of the important issues to be addressed include abuses of human rights, bondage, poor occupational safety and health, child labour, IUU fishing, ensuring social responsibility, capacity development, institution building, strengthening of fish workers organisations, and ratification of the relevant legal instruments.
In 2013, FAO launched the Blue Growth Initiative, building upon the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF). Later, in March 2014 at the 32nd FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific, held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, member countries endorsed the regional initiative on sustainable intensification of aquaculture for blue growth.
Dr Aqorau is also Chairperson of the 15th INFOFISH World Tuna Trade Conference & Exhibition which will be held this month (28 – 30 May) in Bangkok, Thailand.