Pacific

PIC booth stirs much interest at Japan’s Marine Diving Fair

While cherry blossoms were in full bloom, despite bad weather, more than 50,000 visitors attended the fair with more anticipation than last year.

Among them were many enthusiastic divers and travel lovers who were looking for new ocean resorts.

A corner of the main aisle at the fair was almost completely occupied by Pacific islands booths from Palau, Papua New Guinea, Kosrae of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Cook Islands and Marshall Islands, which was a first-time participant on the initiative of tourism authorities and diver groups.

China likely to team up more on aid to Pacific

An expert on China's foreign aid programme, Denghua Zhang, said the Te Mato Vai project in the Cook Islands was helping China learn about aid delivery and monitoring.

According to his research, about four percent of China's total aid spend goes to Oceania, most of that in soft loans for new roads and other infrastructure.

Mr Zhang said China was increasingly teaming up with traditional donor countries and agencies like the UN Development Programme and it saw the Pacific as a good testing ground for such co-operation.

World Tuna Day quest begins

Or might you have a story along this line?

You can share this through the PNA WORLD TUNA DAY ART AND TALENT QUEST.

Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) controls the world's largest sustainable tuna purse seine fishery with members including the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

The PNA WORLD TUNA DAY ART AND TALENT QUEST is in line with the celebration of the World Tuna Day which falls on May 2.

Pacific concern over US climate change stance

Colin Tukuitonga was speaking as the regional agency marked its year of operations.

The US is a founding member and a significant funder of programmes undertaken by the SPC, which include extensive climate change activities.

But the Trump administration is full of climate change deniers and the president has said it is a hoax perpetrated by China.

Tsunami alert called off

The United States Geological Survey downgraded the quake from an initial measurement of magnitude 8. It struck some 47km west of Arawa on the north coast of Bougainville Island at a depth of 154km, the USGS reported.

An initial tsunami alert for several Pacific islands was wound back to cover just PNG and the neighbouring Solomon Islands and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center later said the tsunami threat had passed safely for those countries.

Earthquake epicenter west of Arawa

The Pacific tsunami warning centre said a widespread tsunami was possible for a number of Pacific nations, although not as far as New Zealand or Australia.

It said hazardous tsunami waves from the quake were possible within the next three hours along some coasts of Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Nauru, Vanuatu, and Indonesia as well as Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae in the Federated States of Micronesia.

The centre say any waves would be between 0.3m and 1m above tide level for the Solomons and Papua New Guinea, and less than 0.3m above normal tide levels elsewhere.

Pacific countries in Japan to discuss development and climate change

The meeting is one of several precursors to Japan's eighth Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting or PALM to be held in 2018.

Japan has been holding the summit every three years since 1997.

16 countries are expected to attend the meeting which will review progress since the last summit and prepare for the next one.

Speaking on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum chair the Federated States of Micronesia's foreign secretary, Lorin Robert, said he was looking forward to discussing the Pacific's relations with Japan in the areas of climate change and ocean management.

Moanas in real life: Samoan man teaches his daughters traditional Pacific voyaging skills

Nafanua, Leilani and Emma are 14, 12 and 10-years-old respectively, and their dad Xavier Lui is teaching them the traditional skills of Pacific sea voyaging.

Emma says she likes seeing turtles, riding the bow of the va'a ("boat" in Samoan), and feeling connected to her culture.

"It uncovers the history and you can make your own history while you sail, go on that big boat and make your own," she says, gesturing to the Samoan Voyaging Society's double-hulled canoe, the Gaualofa.

Promoting energy efficiency in Pacific maritime transport

International Maritime Organisation’s Head for Air Pollution and Energy, Edmund Hughes, says the most cost effective and energy efficient mode of mass cargo transport, shipping makes a vital contribution to international commerce and is a key pillar for the development of a sustainable global economy.

Hughes also stated that mandatory energy efficiency requirements for international shipping have been in force for nearly four years, leading to over 1900 ocean going ships being certified to the new requirements.

Not just IUU boats, follow the crew, say Pacific nations

The move to strengthen tracking of Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported fishing vessels with another layer of information listing vessel masters, is hoping to gain traction amongst Tuna Commission members. 

 "At the moment we blacklist boats that have been caught illegally fishing, but as we all know, it is the people on board that are actually doing the wrong thing.  The Persons of Interest (POI) watch list will help detect vessel masters slipping through the current IUU vessel blacklist and going on to lead rogue fishing from another vessel", says FFA DG James Movick.