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Ministers Discuss Boosting Fishing in Tonga

TONGA - How to boost fishing in Tonga and the rest of the Pacific was discussed in Nuku'alofa, Tonga.

Fishing Ministers from 17 Pacific countries met international donors and fishing industry experts to discuss ways to maintain and increase stock, especially tuna.

Tuna was at the top of Tonga's agenda at the Fisheries Ministerial annual meeting, reports FijiTimes.

But according to the government, Tonga needs help from the Forum Fisheries Agency, or FAA, and international donors to maintain its stock.

The minister in charge of fishing says Tonga needs advice with technical issues, how to manage supplies and how to monitor illegal fishing.

He also described how essential fishing is to the Tongan economy and that a combined effort is needed to keep tuna stock up in the kingdom.

CEO of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Forestry, and Fisheries, Dr Vailala Matoto, said his ministry "isn't the only one that can look after the tuna stock. We need to work with all Tongans and they need to support what we're trying to do. For instance, donors are here at these kind of meetings, and if the reports they hear are different from what they see here in Tonga, then how can we get assistance from them? This happens when we don't work together."

A new director general for the FAA was selected during the two day meeting.

Lucy Towers

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