Hon 13 Sept 2021: A high level Solomon Islands Fisheries officials led by the Minister of Fisheries, Hon Nestor Giro this morning began its first round of bilateral negotiations with the Korea Overseas Fisheries Association (KOFA) concerning purse seine fishing within the fishery limits of Solomon Islands.
Hon. Minister Giro in his opening remarks thanked the Korean delegation for the opportunity to discuss important fisheries issues between the two countries.
The bilateral negotiation consultation is an avenue for both parties to review and develop a new bilateral fisheries agreement for 2022 licensing period.
The Minister of Fisheries said he is confident that the outcomes of the discussions will be one of mutual respect and understanding.
He urged the Koreans to consider the vulnerability and fragility of the Solomon Islands economy during the discussions.
Hon. Giro made reference to the sacrifices the country had taken to lockdown its boarders to international travels as a mitigating factor when making decisions.
“Indeed these measures have affected our fragile economy greatly but we have taken these steps to ensure minimal impacts of the COVID19 pandemic on our people as full blown impact will be catastrophic,” he said.
Hon Giro urged the Koreans to ensure rents received from extraction of the country’s fisheries resources is fair and accommodating.
In his response, Head of KOFA delegation, Mr San Jin Park reiterates the difficulties their Fishing Industries face due to the effects of the Covid19 pandemic.
“I do hope the difficulties the industries are facing are taken into account when negotiating the main terms and conditions,” he told the Solomon Islands Fisheries delegation.
The Solomon Island delegation includes the Permanent Secretary Dr Christain Ramofafia, Director of Fisheries Mr Edward Honiwala, Deputy Secretary Technical Ms Rosalie Masu and Senior Legal Officer Ms Rinah Mark. The Chief Crown Counsel Ms Rosemary Maefiti Some of the AG Chambers was unable to join the Delegation at yesterday’s virtual session.