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South Pacific Fisheries Convention in Force

Sustainability Politics +2 more

NEW ZEALAND - Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully and Primary Industries Minister David Carter has announced a new convention to manage fisheries across the South Pacific.

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The convention establishes the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO), which will manage waters from Western Australia to South America, including the Tasman Sea and South Pacific Ocean.

This is the culmination of six years of work by the New Zealand Government, Mr McCully says. New Zealand co-sponsored the negotiations, alongside Chile and Australia.

New Zealand was also the first country to sign the convention and the fifth country to ratify it. The other nine states party to the convention are: Australia, Belize, Chile, the Cook Islands, Cuba, the European Union, Denmark (in respect of the Faroe Islands), Korea and Russia, with other countries expected to join in due course.

Mr Carter says the new convention will manage all fish species in the South Pacific apart from highly migratory ones, which are managed separately. The species under SPRFMO jurisdiction include the commercially sought-after orange roughy, blue nose and jack mackerel.

The new organisation has a big job ahead. Now the convention is in force, the next job is agreeing legally binding controls to manage the fisheries, help ensure their long-term sustainability and address any adverse effects on the environment, Mr Carter says.

The Ministers say New Zealands leadership is set to continue, with Auckland hosting the first SPRFMO Commission meeting in late January 2013.