Coastal fisheries provide a rich source of income and food for the vast majority countries of the Commonwealth. It plays a vital role in many Commonwealth countries, in supporting tourism, food security, recreation, livelihoods and in providing diverse trading opportunities to strengthen national economies. However, due to a variety of reasons, most fisheries has been over-exploited in a level where most fisheries is slowly or difficult to recover.
Therefore a way forward to sustaining these biodiversity and its services, Kiribati is delighted to champion the Action Group on the sustainable coastal fisheries under the Commonwealth Blue Charter. We support the Blue Charter as a key outcome of the 2018 CHOGM and as a means to cooperatively contribute to the ecologically sustainable management of our coastal marine resources. Interested member countries are warmly welcomed to join us.
The Action Group is championed by Kiribati and is established to support on-going fisheries programs, efforts and approaches to ensure sustainable coastal fisheries is achieved so as benefits from coastal fisheries is continued to be experienced for the present and future generation. The actions will also support a resilient coastal fisheries in the face of climate change and mostly importantly, alignment of actions towards international, regional and national obligations.
The fishing industry is one of the main pillars of the Icelandic economy. Cod makes up the largest proportion of the catch of coastal vessels and is currently the second most important species in terms of weight landed and the most important on average in terms of volume.
Following concern about increasingly unsustainable exploitation, a comprehensive statutory system of individual transferable quotas (ITQs) was introduced in 1990, giving fishers permanent quota shares as an incentive to take a long-term view on the harvesting and management of the resources.