Pacific Islands

Money lost to illegal fishing tops $600 million US

RNZ reports under an international agreement via the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, also known as the Tuna Commission, 34 countries including the United States have signed an agreement to stomp out IUU fishing.

American Samoa is now part of the international enforcement of an anti IUU regulation which would identify violators, seize their catches and stop them from continuing to trade illegally.
Murray Bauer, from American Samoa's Office of law Enforcement, said they are mainly targeting foreign vessels by closing off local ports.

New Zealand Scholarship Undergraduate Student Summer Internship for 2016-2017

This is following a successful introductory programme last summer.

A group of 16 talented New Zealand Aid Pacific and Timor Leste Scholars will be using their summer to give them a professional edge before returning home to find employment.

This year the programme will include 16 scholars as drive to build with host agency engagement continues, PCF Programme Development Manager Leaupepe Taala said.

“We are excited about the summer internship as we have another group of high calibre scholars , and increased interest from the private sector,’’ Ralph says.

Tevita’s hopes to reach people with his music

Tevita Halahingano Hafoka an emerging artist from Tonga hopes to spread happiness to people with his group Kava Drive.

Tevita’s passion for singing began when he was 5 years and his family started signing him to sing for occasions like birthdays and singing competitions.

“I started singing in Tonga and it was in those performances I began to enjoy singing and found I had a passion for it as well as listening to music”

“Singing became an escape from any form of disappointment and still is to this day”

Report condemns PACER Plus process

According to RNZI, the report, by the Pacific Network on Globalisation, or PANG, was based on leaked negotiating texts from talks on the regional agreement, which is still being finalised.

It accuses Australia and New Zealand of aggressively advancing their own interests, at the expense of their smaller neighbours, and called for a proper impact assessment.

One of the report's chapters was written by Auckland University's Jane Kelsey, a prominent critic of free trade agreements.

ADB boosting access to clean, renewable energy in Pacific - report

“ADB is the largest investor in renewable energy in the Pacific, which is still heavily reliant on diesel for power generation,” said Michael Trainor, Energy Specialist in ADB’s Pacific Department. “We are working with governments and communities to improve the quantity and quality of energy services across the region by ramping up support for the transition to renewable energy.”

Push for Pacific nations to engage with IPCC

The IPCC is the international body for assessing the science related to climate change, and was set up in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organisation and United Nations Environment Programme.

The IPCC's newly elected mitigation co-chair, Professor Jim Skea, was in New Zealand recently and met with Pacific representatives at Victoria University.

Professor Skea says Pacific countries were instrumental in pushing to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees by the end of the century at the Paris climate change conference.

Pacific youth to “Sound the Alarm”

This is a music competition called “Sound the Alarm” which is open to Pacific youths between the ages of 18-35 and runs from Dec 1 2015, to Jan 16, 2016.  

Countries eligible to participate are PNG, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Federal States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

The competition calls on youths in the Pacific to share their views on corruption and suggest innovative solutions on how to address the issue through music by using their voices.

New Paris text must ‘officially’ include Loss and damage

The Pacific region faces the challenge of losing 3 entire nations due to climate change – including the low-laying atoll islands of Tuvalu, Kiribati and Marshal Islands while Nauru and some of the smaller islands in Fiji also face displacement related to climate change.

“While many are relieved by the fact that a ‘bridging proposal’ was tabled on Thursday the fact that some developed countries have openly challenged this shows that they are not ready to discuss this in the ‘formal Paris text’,” says François Martel, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Development Forum.

Pacific Island nations accuse Australia of failing to 'bat for neighbours'

President Anote Tong is among leaders of some of the world's most vulnerable islands calling for big polluting nations to stand up at the United Nations summit and ensure their survival.

As the richest country in the region, Australia faces Pacific calls to push for a strong deal that limits global warming to 1.5 degrees.

But so far, Tong hasn't seen evidence of that from the Australians.

“They've not been doing any batting at the moment for us,” he told AAP in Paris on Tuesday.

Hawaii Bigeye tuna industry reels two months after reaching quotas

Arbitrary quotas not linked to conservation objectives are keeping them tied at the docks. These struggling vessels and small businesses they support are accumulating millions of dollars in debt each month, causing untold anxiety for the local fishing community and consumers.

The rest of the Hawaii fleet has been forced out of its primary fishing grounds in the Western and Central Pacific and must travel more than a thousand miles into the Eastern Pacific to set hooks to catch bigeye tuna.