US to Combat Illegal Fishing in the Pacific

The United States will soon announce plans to improve maritime domain awareness to combat illegal fishing in the Pacific.

Deputy Assistant to the President and Indo-Pacific Policy Coordinator Kurt Campbell said during a forum at Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies that the US is looking at capabilities to track shipping to prosecute illegal fishing across the Pacific.

Campbell said that the US has to step up its game to battle illegal fishing, one of the “biggest challenges in the Pacific.” 

Several countries in the Indo-Pacific region have accused Chinese vessels of economic damages, environmental damages, and exclusive economic zone violations.

According to Campbell, the US has already been renegotiating its tuna treaty with its Pacific partners.

“We’re taking that very seriously, and we’re trying to put our best foot forward in this set of engagements with our Pacific partners,” he said.

The US is also looking at using technology to address issues of managing coastal waters.

Campbell emphasized the importance of establishing and strengthening partnerships in the Pacific. He said that countries must coordinate, engage, partner, and share information to promote the well-being of Pacific islanders.

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