Information focus for FSM Coastal, Offshore fisheries summit

Tuesday 17th May, Pohnpei, FSM-- The latest updates on the current state and future direction of Fisheries in the Federated States of Micronesia will be shared in a national fisheries summit from 17-20th May led by its Oceanic and Coastal Fisheries arms, NORMA and Department of Resources and Development.

Co-convener for the national meeting of official stakeholders Executive Director of NORMA, Eugene Pangelinan says the summit will help generate awareness of FSM’s strengths in the purse seine fishery of the region and how fisheries management tools can play a vital role in securing more economic returns; either in revenues or on-shore investments from those who seek to fish in our EEZ. He says providing relevant information to networks and stakeholders is an important part of that goal.

"Ensuring key partners are able to make the best decisions when it comes to FSM enjoying the economic benefits of sustainable Fisheries development relies on a “whole of government approach," says Pangelinan. “We've seen how important the role of key stakeholders in government are to moving us in the right direction by aligning our policies, laws activities and programs towards supporting economic goals. Timely, clear and transparent processes and information sharing is key to success and we want to ensure this approach is fostered at the state and national level including our legislative branch where it's equally most important."

Support for this National Fisheries Seminar is from a World Bank Pacific Regional Oceanscape (PROP) Project. FSM, along with the Marshall Islands, the Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu, is well into the initial phase of the PROP project worth USD33m.

"The PROP goal of fishing for a sustainable and equitable future for the Pacific also aligns to the Future of Fisheries Roadmap endorsed by our President and other Pacific Leaders in Port Moresby last year," says Pangelinan. The Roadmap outlines seven clear goals for Offshore and Coastal fisheries for the next ten years, as well as strategic indicators for progress to be facilitated through the Forum Fisheries Agency and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

NORMA's hosting of the national fisheries summit will cover a one-day Coastal themed workshop explaining how the coastal fisheries component of the PROP will work, followed by three days of offshore, tuna-themed policy talks around the Oceanic fishery in the FSM.

"Much of the work we need to achieve for ensuring we deliver under the PROP project and Future of Fisheries Roadmap depends on strong partnerships and links to many other stakeholders across the government. We are keen to grow that holistic understanding that a sustainable futures for fisheries is everyone's business," says Pangelinan. "We are looking at a regional fisheries industry contributing an estimated USD550m to Gross Domestic Product, and access fees of over USD350m annually. At the national level, FSM earns an estimated USD50m annually. This offers great opportunities for creating economic benefits such as employment and other economic activities at the state level. So growing these benefits in sustainable ways is critical."

Forum Fisheries Director General James Movick and other technical officials in the FFA will be supporting the National Fisheries Seminar.—NORMA Release.