Fisheries cooperation pact concluded by Taiwan, Kiribati

A memorandum of understanding on fisheries cooperation was concluded by Taiwan and Pacific diplomatic ally Kiribati June 7 in Taipei City, underscoring a shared commitment to safeguarding environmental sustainability and global marine resources.

Signed by Lin Tsung-hsien, minister of the Cabinet-level Council of Agriculture, and Tetabo Nakara, head of the Kiribati Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources Development, the pact paves the way for collaboration in such areas as investment, maintenance and management, and wild catch marketing and transportation.

The memorandum also sets down conditions for the safe operation of Taiwan-flagged fishing boats in Kiribati’s exclusive economic zone, as well as information sharing on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, or IUU. The latter is expected to help reduce related global losses of US$10 billion to US$23 billion per year.

According to the COA, the pact takes on greater significance given Kiribati is one of eight signatories to the Parties to the Nauru Agreement concerning cooperation in the management of common fisheries stocks. PNA covers grounds accessed by Taiwan vessels engaging in tuna purse and seining, which produce annual output of NT$7 billion (US$235.37 million) from catches of between 160,000 and 220,000 tons.

The memorandum builds upon Taiwan and Kiribati’s long-standing ties and close fisheries cooperation over the years. It follows similar pacts signed since 2015 with diplomatic allies Marshall Islands, Nauru, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu, as well as Papua New Guinea—all of which are PNA signatories.

According to the COA, the timing of the memorandum is auspicious as it took place around the same time as June 5 International Day for the Fight against IUU Fishing and June 8 World Oceans Day. (SFC-E)

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