PALM7 was held 22-23rd of May at Iwaki, Fukushima, Japan, and - Fukushima Iwaki Declaration -“Building Prosperous Future Together” was adapted.
The Maritime issue became an independent agenda since the last PALM6.
This was one of suggestions from the Sasakawa Peace Foundation to the MOFA Japan, as per their request. The reason why we suggested this is because SPF has been involved maritime security project for Micronesia since 2008.
This year PALM7 Maritime arose as an independent agenda again including Fisheries. Tuna got special focus with four articles in the declaration.
Until Fukushima disaster 3.11 of 2011, the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan dominated PALM as a shadow organizer of MOFA.
All of PIC's leaders were invited for nice meals and visits to nuclear power plant during their visit of PALM.
This is known by everybody, but no one spoke.
The Japan Fisheries Agency (subordinate organization of Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries) were fully aware of this situation, so did not seriously involved PALM.
But PALM7 was totally different for them.
I would like to leave the arguments on "fish" or "Tuna" to the following Dr Anthony Bergin's paper.
”Pacific fisheries diplomacy”
However, I would like to briefly note that Tuna as a high migratory fish gave ;
.strong diplomatic card to SIDS
.enhanced regional framework such as FFA
.enhanced regulation for fisheries as well as IUU and transnational crime with IUU boats
.strong Japan bashing card for propaganda Environment NGOs
.an opportunity to China money for play with fisheries
.a raison d'être for Royal Australian Navy in the Pacific
.a reason for PACOM to protect Pacific Ocean
9. Oceans, Maritime Issues and Fisheries
44. Recognising that the Pacific Ocean provides the foundation of prosperity for the Pacific countries, the Leaders reaffirmed the critical importance of integrated approaches to sustainable development, management and conservation of ocean resources and the marine environment. In this regard, the Leaders took note of the Palau Declaration on “The Ocean: Life and Future” (2014), the Framework for a Pacific Oceanscape (2010) and the Pacific Islands Regional Ocean Policy (2005). The Leaders underscored their resolve to further enhance both bilateral and multilateral cooperation in such areas as marine environment, maritime security, maritime safety, maritime surveillance, marine scientific research and observations, conservation of ocean resources, and sustainable fisheries management to promote economic growth and to improve livelihoods and food security.
45. Taking note of the latest fisheries stock assessment that the sustainability of some of the tuna stocks in the Pacific region are and remain at risk, the Leaders committed to improved collaboration in the interests of developing effective conservation and management measures under the framework of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) including cooperation on the high seas, in cooperation with relevant entities, including the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).
46. The Leaders expressed their grave concern about illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing that undermines a major source of revenue for FICs and threatens the sustainability of fisheries stocks in the Pacific region. As countries that benefit from the sustainable use of fishery resources in the Pacific, the Leaders affirmed their commitment to closely cooperate for taking necessary measures to eradicate IUU fishing.
47. The Leaders of the FICs appreciated the fisheries-related assistance provided by Japan and emphasised that continued assistance, including through regional organisations, is important for improving the robust and sustainable management of the Pacific fisheries for long-term economic development. The Leaders highlighted the importance of the long-term and cooperative relationship in the fisheries area between Japan and the FICs, such as for improving the sustainability of fisheries resources as well as promoting mututally beneficial fisheries relationships with Japanese vessels in the region, as appropriate.
48. The Leaders recognised the right of Pacific island countries to develop their own maritime resources as appropriate, including through the legitimate introduction of modern tuna fishing vessels into Pacific island flag fleets. The Leaders of the FICs emphasised the need to explore cooperative relationships in fisheries between Japan and the Pacific islands.
49. Reiterating the importance of peace and security in the Pacific Ocean, the Leaders reaffirmed that maritime order should be maintained in accordance with the universally recognized principles of international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and its relevant Implementing Agreements. The Leaders underscored the importance of exercising self-restraint and peacefully resolving international disputes without resorting to the threat or use of force, and reaffirmed their intentions to promote cooperation in such areas of maritime safety and security.
40. Recognising the region's unique reliance upon the Pacific Ocean in every aspect of their livelihood including trade and investment, food security and environment, the Leaders reiterated the critical importance of ensuring the sustainable development, management and conservation of the ocean and its resources. In this regard, the Leaders commended PIF's efforts in developing the Pacific Oceanscape which is an integral component of the Pacific Regional Oceans Policy. They looked forward to strong outcomes on these matters in Rio+20.
41. In order to sustainably utilise the potential of the Pacific Ocean, the Leaders acknowledged the importance of promoting maritime cooperation, in such areas as marine environment, maritime security, maritime safety, maritime surveillance, marine scientific research and observations and, sustainable fisheries management to promote economic growth and to improve livelihoods and food security.
42. Recognising the role of international law for the maintenance of peace and security in the Pacific Ocean, the Leaders underlined the importance of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and its relevant Implementing Agreements reflecting the principal legal framework with regard to maritime order.