The tuna that ‘feeds the world’ was acknowledged in a week of activities celebrating the Pacific tuna which contributes a third of the world’s tuna supply.
Kicking off on UN World Tuna Day, a joint social media initiative from Pacific Island Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) and The Pacific Community (SPC), Teen Tuna Tok, saw the voices of the Pacific’s young people amplified last week.
‘We had lots of questions but chose the few that we are most curious about. This was fun and it is exciting that these experts are replying to our questions,’ said 16-year-old Cailyn Ponapart, one of the participants from the Federated States of Micronesia.
Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) Director-General, Dr Manu Tupou-Roosen noted the importance of hearing and responding to the thoughtful questions from the Pacific youth about one of the few primary industries accessible to all Pacific Island economies.
‘Our tuna fisheries are an important contributor to the lives and livelihoods of our people and the economies of our countries,’ said Dr Tupou-Roosen.
‘It is critical for our experts to engage with our young people as our next generation of leaders to continue to promote this. We always learn so much by listening to, amplifying and having meaningful conversations with our young people.’
SPC’s Director Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems (FAME) Division, Neville Smith, said there had been great feedback about the campaign, now in its second year.
‘As a scientist I often say to people interested in our field that it’s important to keep asking questions,’ he said.
‘It’s great to see our young people doing exactly that. We are so pleased to see the level of engagement from youth, but also from people watching and encouraging this innovative two-way dialogue.’