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Our Work:

The Offshore Fisheries Division provides technical and policy support to its industry stakeholders, whilst implementing sustainable management measures as set out in offshore fisheries management plans.

Technical and policy advice is provided to Government to assist in the formulation of national policies, aimed at ensuring maximum economic benefits are accrued to the Cook Islands from its fisheries resources.

The division establishes and manages systems such as vessel monitoring system (VMS), port sampling and observers, catch reporting, and database management, that ensure compliance with any and all management

measures and maintain sustainability of the key fish stocks.

This covers all Cook Islands flagged fishing vessels fishing in the domestic waters of the Cook Islands and on the High Seas.

The Division also assists in ensuring that the Cook Islands meets its obligations both regionally and internationally with proactive participation to ensure Cook Islands interest realised.

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Key Objectives:

Implement and enforce the relevant Tuna Management Plan and relevant associated Regulations.

Facilitate broader initiatives to look at expanding the export of fish to overseas markets, and to look at advances in fishing and food technology.

Promote sanitary standards through appropriate legislation and practical implementation to apply to all Cook Islands fishproducts wherever they may be sold or exported to.

Provide leading role in international trade related to fisheries.

Vessels that are based out of Rarotonga and Pago Pago are inspected during a licensing period.

Ensure all vessels comply with reporting provisions of operational datasheets.

Ensure all Cook Island Licensed vessels able to be tracked with VMS (vessel monitoring systems).
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Programmes:

• Modify Designated Fishery Plans when required and any relevant associated Regulations.

• Facilitate broader initiatives to look at expanding the export of fish to overseas markets, and to look at advances in fishing and food technology.

• Promote sanitary standards through appropriate legislation and practical implementation to apply to all Cook Islands fish products wherever they may be sold or exported to.

• Provide leading role in international trade related to fisheries.

• Vessels that are based out of Rarotonga and Pago Pago are inspected during a licensing period.

• Ensure all vessels comply with reporting provisions of operational datasheets.

• Ensure all Cook Island Licensed vessels able to be tracked with VMS.

• Ensure transhipment activities in Cook Islands EEZ are monitored

• Assist in the coordination and delivery of regional surveillance programmes

• Maintain Licensed Fishing Vessel Register

• Investigate all alleged IUU activities and violations and ensure that any IUU related settlements are consistent with the Marine Resources Act.

• Implement all conservation and management measures agreed by any regional fisheries management organization to which the Cook Islands are a member off.

• Satisfactory outcome of the US Fisheries Treaty negotiations

• Ensure commitments to fishing access with foreign fishing partners are within sustainable, infrastructural and capacity limits of the Cook Islands fishery resource and their management.

• Scientific reports from the Cook Islands are generated

• Artisanal and game fishing scientific support programme is in place to assist near shore fisheries development.

August 2017
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