Sean Dorney's presentation ABC report on illegal tuna fishing in the Pacific on 28 October 2013.
HOW IRONIC. For two days this week, veteran Pacific affairs correspondent Sean Dorney from Australia Network was contributing hugely to an inaugural regional business media summit organised by the Asian Development Bank.
His final contribution to the seminar was a rundown on “tunanomics” and how illegal fishing was, for him, the biggest economic story confronting the Pacific.
He punctuated this presentation with an ABC video report from last October which exposed how lack of cooperation by at least six Pacific countries was undermining the Forum Fisheries Agency’s surveillance efforts.
Anthony Bergin, the Deputy Director of the Australian Security Policy Institute, estimates that about US$1.7 billion is lost through illegal and unregulated fishing activity in the Pacific. He’s proposing that the Australian patrol boat programme should not only be a Defence Department commitment but that Australian aid should also contribute to the programme now being developed to replace those 22 patrol boats that Australia has donated to Pacific countries but which are coming to the end of their work life.No sooner than his fine contribution and the ADB seminar was over, Dorney found himself in the gun again with Fiji media "control freaks" - Dorney's description - who seem determined to use the controversial 2010 Media Industry Development Decree to gag anything deemed to be “un-Fijian”.