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Kiribati’s Shock Withdrawal Overshadows Pacific Leaders Meeting in Fiji
Tensions between China and the United States, and the withdrawal of the remote Pacific island nation of Kiribati, have overshadowed the Pacific Islands Forum as leaders arrived in Fiji on Monday for the first in-person summit in three years.

During the four-day meeting, Pacific island leaders will discuss how to gather more international support and funding to fight the impact of rising sea levels and climate change, as well as China’s ambitions for greater security ties across the region.
A bid by Beijing to sign a broader regional trade and security deal with 10 nations that recognize China, but is opposed by some forum members, was also to be discussed.
Continue reading here (Source: Yahoo! News).

Tunacons in Ecuador Obtains MSC Certification After a 5-Year Process

After a five-year process, 47 Ecuadorian vessels from the companies Nirsa (Real Industrial Businesses), Eurofish, Tri Marine, ServiGroup and the Jadram Groupachieved the first certification for yellowfin tuna products, with the technical support of the Global Fund for Nature (WWF) Ecuador chapter.
The certification was granted by the Marine Stewardship Council MSC , an international non-profit organization that distinguishes the responsible management of the tuna purse-seine fishery produced, processed and marketed in several countries around the world, mainly in the European Union.
These companies are part and founders of the Tunacons Foundation and bring together the largest tuna purse-seine fleet operating in the Pacific Ocean. Continue reading here(Source: El Universo).

Regulatory Nightmare Facing Tuna Fleet

Orthongel, which represents French tuna operators CFTO, Sapmer and Via Ocean, is warning that the regulations are contradictory, placing skippers in an impossible position as they are required to both provide a species breakdown of the catch to within a 10% margin of error, and also to ensure that catches are frozen immediately as they operate in areas where temperatures are above 30°C.
According to an Othongel representative, this means that skippers have only a few minutes to make their best estimate of the composition of each shot of tuna before catches are transferred to freezing wells. The problem is compounded by these species being highly similar, making it even more challenging to estimate the proportions of each species. Continue reading here (Source: Fisker Forum).

Fiji and Solomon Islands Sign Maritime Boundary Agreement

The Governments of Fiji and the Solomon Islands have signed an agreement on their shared maritime boundary, marking the first boundary treaty to be signed in the Pacific region in 6 years.
The signing was held in Suva, Fiji last night ahead of the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders meeting which begins today.
The Pacific Community is the technical lead on the Pacific Maritime Boundaries work and looks forward to providing continued support to our Pacific Member States to secure our BluePacific. Continue reading here (Source: WorkBoat).

Reports of a Pacific Fracture Fails to Understand the Region

Pacific Island nations are keenly aware that disunity is unhelpful for the region.
When Micronesian nations decided to remain within the Pacific Islands Forum, many commentators heralded it as a disaster averted. A year ago they had said the forum had ‘fallen apart’; Australia and New Zealand had too much involvement, the US too little, and China too much influence, they said. Hyperbole only grew with the Chinese security deal with Solomons Islands. With the return of Micronesia, a destabilising schism in the Pacific’s premier regional body had been avoided. 
But much of this external commentary failed to take into consideration not only local dynamics but also the Pacific Way. Continue reading here (Source: Big News Network).

Century Pacific Ventures Into Fish-Free Tuna

Century Pacific Food, Inc. released its latest innovation in plant-based alternatives — unMEAT fish-free tuna.
For the company, the launch of the new alternative will leverage its might in developing leading tuna products. It is said to be made with 100% plant-based ingredients: non-GMO soy, natural oils, and flavors.
“Much of the focus in the industry has been on meat alternatives. On the other hand, seafood alternatives remain a wide-open space where we see pent-up demand from consumers looking for healthier and more sustainable options at an accessible price,” Century Pacific’s Chief Operating Officer Gregory Francis H. Banzon said.
Continue reading here (Source: Business World).