Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

FSM and China sign memorandum of fisheries cooperation

PALIKIR, Pohnpei (FSM Information Service): January 7, 2004 - A memorandum of fisheries cooperation was recently signed in Palikir between the Governments of the People's Republic of China and the Federated States of Micronesia.

The signing was done on the occasion of a visit to Pohnpei by a high level delegation from China headed by Zhang Hechen, Deputy Director General of the Bureau of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture. Hechen had signed on behalf of his Government with Lorin Robert, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs signing on FSM's behalf.

Signed on December 18 2003, the memorandum recognized the importance of tuna resource in the Pacific and expressed mutual desire for the conservation and optimum utilization of the resource.

Both governments also agreed to further explore possibilities for "fisheries cooperation in the field of marine fishing and research, repairing and building of fishing vessels, aquaculture and others," including China's support for the FSM as host country for the future Western and Central Pacific Tuna Commission.

Recognizing that strengthening fisheries cooperation enhances the social and economic development of each country, both governments reaffirmed the desire to "promote cooperation in the fisheries sectors between the two countries on the basis of equality and mutual benefit."

Mr. Bernard Thoulag, Executive Director of FSM's National Oceanic Resource Management Agency, said the Chinese have expressed interest in "expanding its fishing fleet in the Pacific subject to existing regional arrangements."

Thoulag further said both countries also agreed for their fisheries authorities to "strengthen communications and cooperation regarding development and management of fisheries as well as in the international ad regional fisheries organizations."

Pacific island countries are heavily reliant on the marine resources and therefore are significantly mindful of the broad economic and social importance of the sustained utilization of the highly migratory fish resources.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356