Pacific welcomes Prime Minister Key’s Future of Fisheries funding boost

FSMPIF2016, Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, Friday 9th September 2016A funding injection announced today by the Prime Minister of New Zealand, John Key, in Pohnpei will provide a significant boost for the regional Roadmap aimed at ensuring sustainable development in Pacific fisheries. Visiting Micronesia for the Pacific Forum Leaders Meeting, Prime Minister Key has announced NZ $12.15 million to support sustainable coastal fisheries and aquaculture in the region.
The Pacific Community through its Coastal and Oceanic Fisheries Programs will partner with the Forum Fisheries Agency and New Zealand to implement the two new initiatives.
The five-year "Improving fisheries food security and sustainable livelihoods for Pacific Island communities" project will focus on improving fisheries governance in nations across the Pacific.
“The contribution of New Zealand and Australia enables Pacific nations to step up action on the commitments and goals set by Pacific leaders; for their oceanic and coastal fisheries,” says FFA Director General James Movick. At the 46th Forum, New Zealand committed $50m NZD to support fisheries management, and the work involved is well underway.
The new NZ$4.9 million Sustainable Pacific Aquaculture Development project will focus on sustainable aquaculture demonstrating enhanced business acumen, reduced aquatic biosecurity risks and increased uptake of improved aquaculture practices.
In welcoming the announcement by Prime Minister Key, the Pacific Community Director-General, Dr Colin Tukuitonga, said the scale of the projects will make it possible to address the complex issues affecting food security in isolated island communities.
“Over the next five years, we can expect to see traditional knowledge combined with new science to alleviate food security stress and improve health outcomes, for example through increasing the consumption of fresh fish, not tinned, to reduce the rates of non-communicable diseases,” Dr Tukuitonga said.
“SPC is grateful for New Zealand Aid Programme support which makes possible vital work to support inclusive and sustainable development in the Pacific Islands region,” he said.
“The blend of goals and strategies in the Tuna and Coastal fisheries sectors provide the basis for report card updates. What is also clear is the commitments from Australia and New Zealand in these high-level spaces ensure traction and resourcing for Pacific nations to ensure they achieve the Fisheries they want,” said FFA’s Director General, James Movick.
Meanwhile, the coastal fisheries project will involve empowering fisheries staff and communities to develop and implement effective coastal fisheries and aquaculture management and Monitoring Control and Surveillance through updated legislation, raised awareness of regulations and working closely together.
Anticipated outcomes of the five-year aquaculture project include more productive and economically sustainable aquaculture operations, for species such as sea cucumber, seaweed and tilapia.
Increased uptake and adoption of improved aquaculture practices and better protection against biosecurity threats are also expected outcomes.
“FFA has appreciated working closely with New Zealand over the past six months to design several large scale projects to implement the FOF Roadmap, especially in terms of reforming the longline fishery for south Pacific albacore and improving catch documentation and port inspection standards” said Movick.  “The coastal and aquaculture projects complement that and stand to deliver a substantial benefit to fisheries management and development as a whole.”
The action led by SPC in the aquaculture project work falls well within the Coastal Fisheries Report card, while SPC’s Oceanic Fisheries Program supports the technical work and engagement of FFA in the Tuna Fisheries Report card. 
Pacific leaders, including the New Zealand Prime Minister and Australia’s Malcolm Turnbull, will be delivering outcomes of the 47th Forum summit this weekend, following their annual leaders retreat at the FSM Congress, in Palikir.—ENDS
PHOTOCAPTION-- Regionalism at work at #FSMPIF2016—Herman Semes Jnr from Office of the President of FSM with (R-L) Feleti Teo of the WCPFC, Tausaga Teo, Ludwig Kumoru of the PNA,  Dr Colin Tukuitonga of the Pacific Community, James Movick of the FFA, and Herolyn Movick. (Credit: FFAmedia)
Media contacts
Lisa W-Lahari, FFAmedia in Pohnpei on 691-9261791 or [email protected]
Lauren Robinson   SPC Media Relations Team Leader, [email protected]