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US Navy Deploys an LCS to Enforce Fishing Rules in Western Pacific

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest Independence-class Littoral Combat Ships to the South Pacific – with a Coast Guard boarding team on board. The Coast Guard-LCS combination has proven itself in counternarcotics interdiction campaigns off Central America, and the new deployment extends that model to fisheries enforcement partnerships with Pacific Island nations.

Though costly to operate when compared with a Coast Guard cutter, the Independence-class LCS provides an additional vessel platform in the Pacific, freeing up naval surface combatants and National Security Cutters for other missions. It carries the same 57mm deck gun as the NSC, and it is capable of launching small boats for vessel boardings and search drones for reconnaissance.  Continue reading here (Source: The Maritime Executive).

Biden Administration Proposes Massive Marine Sanctuary in Pacific Ocean

The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden announced on 21 March that it has ordered U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo to consider creating a new marine sanctuary that would protect roughly 770,000 square miles of ocean.

The new sanctuary would be created around the Pacific Remote Islands using the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, and according to a release from the administration is intended to continue Biden’s commitment to conserving 30 percent of lands and waters by 2030 – commonly referred to as the “30 by 30” plan. The full conservation area would represent the largest sanctuary of its kind in the world, and would include the existing Remote Island Marine National Monument and “currently unprotected submerged lands and waters.”Continue reading here (Source: SeafoodSource).

PNA Starts MSC Reassessment – FADs and Bigeye Included

The PNA has started the process of MSC recertification for its entire purse seine fishery, which will now be assessed against the new MSC standard (V2.01). The reassessment includes freeschool and FAD fisheries for skipjack, yellowfin and bigeye.

‘The outcome of the last year’s attempt to get a scope extension for bigeye and FADs was disappointing, but it only strengthened the determination of our region to prove that our fishery is fully sustainable, and it encouraged the Pacific nations to not give up on its position,’ a PNA representative stated.

‘At Pacifical we are confident this process is on track to result in a positive outcome.’ Continue reading here (Source: FiskerForum).

Pacific Leaders Not Surprised by Latest Climate Report, Call For Rapid Action

Pacific leaders are not surprised by the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that says current action and plans are insufficient to keep warming below 1.5 degrees.

The report said more than a century of burning fossil fuels and unsustainable land use has had led to global warming of 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

Vanuatu’s Minister for Climate Change Ralph Regenvanu said the report makes “very clear” the planet is out of time to make climate transformations. Continue reading here (Source: Radio New Zealand).

La Niña Phenomenon Expected to Negatively Impact Ecuador through April 2023

Ecuador is currently facing the longest La Niña phenomenon in 120 years, with negative economic impacts on key sectors such as fishing and agriculture.

La Niña is an atmospheric phenomenon characterized by a drop in sea surface temperature, and typically lasts between nine months to three years. However, the current La Niña 2020-2023 has been the longest in the last 66 years, lasting for 34 months already, and is expected to continue until April 2023.Continue reading here (Source: The Cuenca Dispatch).

New Caledonia, Fiji Embark on Jurisdictional Approach Initiative for Longline Tuna Fishery

The French overseas territory of New Caledonia and the Pacific island nation of Fiji have initiated a jurisdictional approach initiative for their longline tuna fishery.

Arlington, Virginia, U.S.A.-based non-governmental organization Conservation International led the effort to form the initiative, signing a memorandum of understanding with the Fiji Fishing Industry Association (FFIA) on 21 November, 2022, and New Caledonia’s Fédération des Pêcheurs Hauturiers (FPH), and Association des Industriels de Transformation des Produits Hauturiers (AITPH) on 15 December, 2022.

Continue reading here (Source: SeafoodSource).