Fisheries observers get help

Work of fisheries observers can be difficult and hazardous. At the recent Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission annual meeting in Bali, the organization approved new safety measures for observers. This file photo shows a longline vessel on the high seas that is being checked by a Greenpeace compliance team (in zodiac). Photo: Greenpeace Pacific.
Work of fisheries observers can be difficult and hazardous. At the recent Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission annual meeting in Bali, the organization approved new safety measures for observers. This file photo shows a longline vessel on the high seas that is being checked by a Greenpeace compliance team (in zodiac). Photo: Greenpeace Pacific.

YVETTE MONDAY

Fisheries observers have been hailed for the work they do as the eyes and eared of Pacific countries.

They are the frontline officers collecting catch data vital to understanding how many fish are left and how to ensure sustainability of the stocks.

Transform Aqorau, the CEO of the PNA group of countries, says observers should take credit for a job well done.

And the Pacific Tuna Commission meeting in Bali earlier this month decided on new safety measures which will help people doing this dangerous job to better deal with the intimidation, assault or worse that they sometimes face.

From the end of 2016 all observers will have to carry an independent two-way communication satellite device and a waterproof personal lifesaving beacon.

These will allow them to call home without having to ask the ship’s captain to use his facilities and will track the observer’s location in case they fall overboard.

The initiatives are in response to the disappearance of a number of observers in suspicious circumstances.

“The work they do is very important to fisheries management, they are our ears and eyes at the frontline,” said Aqorau.

Read more about this in the December 25, 2015 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.

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