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At the Fourth South Pacific Commission Technical Meeting on Fisheries held in Noumea from 21 to 29 October 1970, and at the following South Pacific Islands Fisheries Development Agency (SPIFDA) Fishery Consultative Meeting from 30 October to 4 November, the need for an information system that would allow the Territories to keep up to date on developments in fisheries and marine biology, particularly as they relate to the reefs and lagoons, was strongly emphasised by the participants.
The Newsletter was first published as the South Pacific Islands Fisheries Newsletter in April 1971. It was issued jointly by the South Pacific Islands Fisheries Development Agency and United Nations Development Programme (Special Fund) Project, with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) as Executing Agency and the South Pacific Commission as Co-operating Agency on behalf of participating governments.
In the first editorial Mr J.A. Tubb (FAO) and Mr V.T. Hinds (SPC) stated that: "For a publication such as this to be of value, it must draw on sources of information and rely on the goodwill and active support of the people directly concerned with this range of activities. Accordingly, we are appealing in this first issue for a more positive approach to the problem by our colleagues in government and in the fishing game. Such successes as you have achieved or the failures you may have experienced may be of extreme interest and value to others working in the same field, to assist them in their development programmes and to help them avoid errors and omissions which would retard such programmes. The responsibility for the success of this Newsletter as a means of disseminating information and assisting your colleagues depends largely upon yourself and we end this Editorial with a strong plea for your co-operation and assistance."
In December 1973, SPFIDA formally ended and the Sixth SPC Technical Meeting on Fisheries requested that the South Pacific Commission continue to issue a Newsletter, which would become the SPC Fisheries Newsletter.