Viola Ulukai, Pacific Media@WCPFC13
The United Nations General Assembly has unanimously declared May second each year as World Tuna Day.
The proposal was initiated by Nauru on behalf of all UN SIDS, and went to the UN with the backing of all 17 Pacific Island members of the Forum Fisheries Agency including Tonga, and follows on from almost a decade of PNA hosting its own World Tuna Day every May 2.
“We are delighted with United Nations ratification of World Tuna Day,” said PNA CEO Ludwig Kumoru, who is in Fiji attending the 13th annual meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).
His comments were echoed by the FFA director general James Movick.
“It’s great news and could not have come at a better time for all the Pacific SIDS Mr Movick said
“I understand the resolution was co-sponsored by 96 countries from all regions, coastal, island and landlocked, demonstrating the hard work led by Nauru in securing truly global support for World Tuna Day, and adding to the goodwill behind the unanimous vote in the general assembly,” said Mr Movick.
Mr Kumoru of PNA said the United Nations’ decision on Tuna World Day confirms the world’s appreciation of tuna.
According to Mr Kumoru the adoption of the International Day for Tuna helps emphasize the importance of its conservation management outcomes that the annual meeting of WCPFC this week is trying to achieve.
These objectives include developing harvesting control strategies and management measures. . He said the next step for the PNA is rolling out increased management of the longline fishery.
A statement from the FFA said the resolution notes that many countries depend heavily on tuna resources for food security and nutrition, economic development, employment, government revenue, livelihoods, and culture and recreation.
It also recognized the importance of sustainably managed stocks in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.