Today, at the United Nations Ocean Conference in New York, I announced ongoing Australian support to the Pacific for implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 – to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

Australia will commit $4.4 million over four years to build legal and technical capacity for cooperative surveillance and enforcement activities to address illegal fishing in the Pacific.

This will support Australia’s long-standing relationship with the Forum Fisheries Agency and Pacific Island Countries to build capacity to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.  Separately, Australia has made a contribution over 30 years to build physical capacity, including replacement of patrol boats and a new aircraft.

Australia will also commit a further $2 million to continue working with our Pacific neighbours through the Pacific Community to implement international law by providing technical and legal support for maritime boundary delimitation.

In the Pacific, many countries have marine jurisdictions – areas thousands of times larger than their land mass – that are not yet fully defined. Defining jurisdictional rights is an important first step towards deriving economic benefit from the ocean and its resources.

Our long-standing partnership with the Pacific Community has led to lodgement with the UN of approximately two-thirds of the shared boundaries in the Pacific Islands region.

Notes to editors, broadcasters, agencies and online video sites: a free to use video news release is available for download.

Australia's voluntary commitments to ocean health on World Ocean Day can be found at: The Ocean Conference website.

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