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June 20, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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Pacific islands including Fiji have been urged to use effective traceability system to help address the urgent and critical problem of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.

Speaking at a press conference today World Wild Life Fund (WWF) tuna strategy leader Jose Ingles said a traceability system is an important tool not only for food safety but it can be used as a management tool to manage fishing.

Ingles said governments around the region need to recognise IUU fishing as a threat and prioritise actions at national and regional levels to address the problem.

The Coral Triangle Fishers Forum said traceability and catch documentation is the effective information management system that can address IUU threats.

The forum said governments need to allocate sufficient funds for monitoring, controlling, surveillance technologies and enacting traceability and catch documentation measures in fisheries.

The forum also said that implementing such systems will entail stronger support from key stakeholders across the entire supply chain and appropriate incentives and skills need to be developed for different fisheries to adopt them.

The forum is calling on suppliers, retailers, buyers, and restaurateurs in sustainable and legally-caught seafood to directly pressure governments to adopt and implement traceability systems as a core component of fisheries management.

The three-day Coral Triangle Fishers Forum which was attended by more than 100 participants from 25 countries ended today.

By Mereani Gonedua

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