PRESS RELEASE: FFA Director General makes first official visit to RMI

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* Meets with President Hilda C Heine

* Backs IUU FREE Pacific campaign

* Signs MoU with Govt on Aerial Surveillance Programme (ASP)

* Signs MoU with PNAO

Dr Manu Tupou-Roosen with PNG participants of NTIS exercise. Credit: Pacific Guardians

MAJURO, 12 February 2019 – Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency Director General, Dr. Manu Tupou-Roosen has made her first official visit to the Republic of the Marshall Islands, meeting last week with Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) President, Her Excellency, Dr Hilda C. Heine and Cabinet ministers.

During her meeting with President Heine and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. John M. Silk, Dr Tupou-Roosen discussed FFA’s vision and offered the FFA’s full support for the campaign against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing being led by RMI. She also highlighted FFA”s 40th anniversary plans.

“The meeting was a valuable opportunity to discuss ways in which FFA and RMI can collaborate to combat IUU fishing,” said Dr Tupou-Roosen. “We stand behind President Heine’s bold challenge for an IUU FREE Pacific by 2023. We will continue our work to combat IUU fishing with innovative tools such as the Persons of Interest project, Electronic Monitoring and Reporting work, and the enhanced capability provided through the Aerial Surveillance Programme.” They also discussed an IUU Colloquium that would be hosted by RMI later this year.

Parties to the Nauru Agreement Organisation CEO, Ludwig Kumoru and RMI Marine Resources Authority Director, Glen Joseph were also in attendance at the meeting.

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Marshall Islands in support of the Aerial Surveillance Programme

In order to strengthen mechanisms to protect their fisheries resources and the need to enhance their monitoring, control and surveillance, the Minister of Natural Resources, Hon. Dennis Momotaro signed an MoU in support of FFA’s Regional Aerial Surveillance Programme with Dr. Tupou-Roosen.

“This MoU is symbolic as it is sets out clear parameters within which the aircraft assistance will operate, and is the platform for ensuring efficient delivery of services for RMI,” said Dr. Tupou-Roosen

“This is a landmark achievement as it will complement the existing monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) framework and strongly contribute towards achieving the 2023 IUU free Pacific Challenge laid down by H.E. President Hilda Heine.”

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreement with the PNAO

The visit also coincided with the signing of a historic Memorandum of Understanding between the FFA and the PNAO.

Dr. Tupou- Roosen and Mr Kumoru agreed to work closely together in supporting Members in progressing issues of common interest such as ensuring the effective management of the longline fishery and improved labour conditions on fishing vessels.

“This MoU will not only formalise and bolster our organisations relationship but will specifically move forward the directives from Members including RMI President Heine’s 2023 IUU FREE Pacific challenge,” said Dr Tupou-Roosen.

“Our vision is to make a positive difference on the livelihoods of Pacific people. None of our goals will occur without solidarity and cooperation,” she said.

“Cooperation is the cornerstone of our success in the Pacific and we will work together to overcome development challenges.”

Further information: Donna Hoerder, FFA Media, donna.hoerder@ffa.int, ph: +679 9265518

About Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA)

FFA was established to help its 17 member countries sustainably manage their fishery resources that fall within their 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs). FFA is an advisory body providing expertise, technical assistance and other support to its members who make sovereign decisions about their tuna resources and participate in regional decision making on tuna management through agencies such as the Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC). www.ffa.int Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter

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