Maldives hosts discussion on establishing policies on sustainable fisheries

A discussion forum has begun in the Maldives to establish policies on management of sustainable fisheries in the developing coastline countries in the Indian Ocean.

Titled “Indian Ocean Developing Coastline States Tuna Fisheries Management and Allocation Meeting”, the forum began in Trader’s Hotel today and is participated by representatives from coastline countries in the Indian Ocean.

The discussion, which will continue for two consecutive days, is an initiative by the Maldives Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and will see discussions on topics such as “Harvest strategy framework”, “Rights based management approach” and establishing quotas to ensure sustainable fisheries in the Indian Ocean.

Speaking to Sun Online about the forum, Director of the Marine Research Centre (MRC) Dr. Shiham Adam said that the objective of the discussions would be find solutions for challenges faced by the Indian Ocean fisheries as a whole and to implement the solutions that they identify.

Dr. Shiham further said that the forum will see discussion on adopting of the Precautionary Approach Resolution recently passed by the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), by coastal countries in the Indian Ocean.

“The countries will discuss the steps to implement the precautionary approach. These include the steps to take if the stock reduces beyond a certain level, and discussions on topics such as the harvest control rule,” Dr. Shiham said.

Tuna Manager for the World Wildlife Fund Daniel Suddaby told Sun Online that his organization hopes that the counties will commit to conserving their ocean ecosystems and to work towards a more sustainable fisheries in the Indian Ocean.

In addition to representatives coastal Indian Ocean countries, the discussion forum is participated marine biologists who will share expert opinions at the meeting.