Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) celebrates 40 years of service

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HONIARA, 9 August 2019 – Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) celebrated 40 years of service with a dinner hosted by the Director General, Dr Manumatavai Tupou-Roosen.

The Guest of Honour was the Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Honorable Manasseh Sogovare.

FFA was established in 1977 when Pacific Island Forum leaders decided to establish a South Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency open to all Forum members and all countries in the region ‘who support the sovereign rights of the coastal states to conserve and manage living resources’ including highly migratory species.

A year before its Independence, Solomon Islands agreed to host the FFA headquarters.  First housed in a two-bedroom property in Lengakiki in 1979 with a membership of 10 countries, the headquarters moved to its current location on Kolale road in 1985 with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding areas and now has a membership of 17 countries.

Solomon Islands has continued to support FFA over the years and has remained a valuable partner and host, one that the organization is always grateful for.

To mark the 40th anniversary of FFA, Dr Tupou-Roosen said “that the FFA’s success over the past 40 years has been about people, and this evening, is to honour these very people who have served the region”.

FFA provides a Forum for Regional Cooperation that ensures our members can leverage our fisheries resources to maximize economic and social benefits for our communities. “Strength Through Cooperation” is the key factor for the success of FFA, Dr Tupou-Roosen said.  It is the platform for members to share information and work together. Some of the key achievements for FFA over the years have been Harmonised Minimum Terms and Conditions for Fishing Vessel Access, Monitoring Control and Surveillance (MCS) framework and the Multilateral NTSA.

Anniversary celebrations in August began with an open day for primary school children with separate visits the next day for secondary students. Coinciding with the celebration, FFA hosted a  is the JudiciaL Symposium, with the theme “Responsibility in Fisheries”, attended by several Chief Justices and senior members of the judiciary from the region.

Dr Tupou-Roosen, reflecting on the 40 years of the organization, said FFA is about making a positive difference in the lives of Pacific people, and thanked FFA members and the past and current staff of the Secretariat, many of whom have served the region for more than 30 years.  

Cooperation and empowerment has been and continues to be the key to its success.

##ENDS##

For more information and photos contact Donna Hoerder, FFA Media, ph: +677 21124

 donna.hoerder@ffa.int

About Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA)

FFA assists its 17-member countries to sustainably manage fishery resources that fall within their 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs). FFA provides 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. www.ffa.int

Follow us on Facebook | on Twitter  #Ourfishourfuture #tuna #forumfisheries #fisheries2019 #FFA40yrs #FFA40th

Call to end slavery at sea

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Improved conditions for crew working on tuna fishing vessels in the Pacific is a key outcome of the Forum Fisheries Committee meeting this week

POHNPEI, 10 May 2019 – The annual Forum Fisheries Committee (FFC) Officials meeting concluded today with a headline decision to strengthen the regional minimum requirements for fishing licenses by adding crew employment conditions.

The outcome has already been hailed as “ground-breaking” by the 17 members as well as by international NGOs present at the meeting.

Speaking from the meeting the Director-General of the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) Dr Manu-Tupou-Roosen noted that the decision of members would now require embedding in national procedures.

“The fishing vessel operator will now become formally responsible for the health, welfare and safety of the crew while he or she is on board the vessel, and will be required to meet decent standards in respect of salary and conditions for all crew,” observed Dr Tupou-Roosen.

“This is a giant step forward in helping to ensure that the ‘slavery at sea’ identified in other global fisheries does not blight the Pacific region. It will help ensure that basic human rights are protected for those working in our offshore tuna fishery.”

The Chairman of the meeting, Executive Director of Federated States of Micronesia’s National Oceanic Resource Management Authority (NORMA), Eugene Pangelinan observed that “while the region’s regional offshore tuna fisheries are already the most sustainably managed in the world, we now expect all operators in the fishery to treat crew members in a way that reflects the values and expectations of our combined membership.” 

Executive Director Pangelinan also noted that by setting these standards more Pacific Island nationals will be motivated to become crew on fishing vessels thus meeting an objective to improve local employment in the Industry.

“This is a goal our leaders have set us and we are proud to be taking this work forward.”

Participants at the meeting have noted heightened concerns over conditions in high seas fisheries, especially on foreign longline vessels which often require crew to stay at sea for up to a year with poor pay and conditions and harsh penalties for dissent.

Meeting in Pohnpei, the 17 member countries of the FFA also agreed:

  • A final draft FFA Strategic Plan 2020-2025 for forwarding to Ministers for their endorsement when they meet next month
  • Strengthened work on assessing the impacts of climate change on offshore fisheries
  • A new Regional Longline Strategy to underpin stronger returns to island countries
  • Enhanced measures to eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing
  • Priorities for FFA members to take forward in the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.

This week was also a time of reflection for NORMA and FFA who both celebrate 40 years of operation.

“I cannot stress enough that although much has been achieved in 40 years, there is still much to do particularly with emerging issues and challenges such as climate change. We work to ensure our people enjoy social and economic benefits from a sustainably managed offshore tuna resource and this wouldn’t be possible without key partnerships,” said Dr Tupou-Roosen.

“I want to particularly thank NORMA for hosting us this year. But also I want to thank our members for their continued trust in us. Cooperation, is without a doubt what has brought us this far and it will be how we advance for the next 40 or more years.”

Coincidently, the fisheries meeting concludes on the 40th anniversary of the FSM becoming a self-governing nation.

##ENDS##

For more information and photos contact:

Donna Hoerder, FFA Media, +691 920 5332 donna.hoerder@ffa.int

Richard Clark, FSM Public Information Office, +691-920-1612richard.clark@gov.fm

About Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA)

FFA assists its 17-member countries to sustainably manage fishery resources that fall within their 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs). FFA provides 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. www.ffa.int

Follow us on Facebook | on Twitter

#Ourfishourfuture #tuna #forumfisheries #fisheries2019 #FFA40yrs #FFA40th

About National Oceanic Resource Management Authority (NORMA)

The Government of Federated States of Micronesia, National Oceanic Resource Management Authority (NORMA) manages oceanic resources and in particular tuna resources, within the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Federated States of Micronesia.www.norma.fm