Key fisheries meetings outcomes – Oceanic Fisheries Management Project Regional Steering Committee

The 5th Regional Steering Committee was held on 7 November 2009, the final steering committee meeting for the project which ends its first phase in December 2010. Achievements of the Project were detailed in science, fisheries management and fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance.

Discussions on a potential second phase of the Oceanic Fisheries Management Project agreed:
•    that the contribution of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) towards assisting Pacific SIDS in oceanic fisheries management was invaluable and much had been achieved under the current project phase;
•    that the concept for a further phase of the project support by GEF needed to be ready for an early as possible submission to minimise the impacts of the gap between the current project and the next phase on the delivery of priority activities

Commenting about the Oceanic Fisheries Management Project, UNDP MCO Resident Representative Knut Ostby said: “The sustainability of tuna fish stocks is at very serious risk unless urgent and immediate action is taken. While the Western Pacific Ocean represents the world’s last great tuna stocks, fishing pressures have intensified at alarming rates... The PIOFM Project is empowering Pacific nations with skills and knowledge needed to ensure conservation as well as maximization of economic and social benefits of fisheries development with specific examples such as: awareness-raising and scientific training, technical support and institutional reforms in various countries.” 

“UNDP is pleased to note significant key achievements to date such as:
•    Negotiation and coming into force of a major international fisheries Convention, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention;
•    Establishment of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission for the Convention and early progress on putting in place conservation and management measures for the region’s highly valuable tuna fisheries; and
•    Understanding of Convention obligations and effective national consultation processes.”

Commenting about the Oceanic Fisheries Management Project, FFA Director General Su’a N.F. Tanielu said:
“We express sincere gratitude to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for the funding assistance this project has contributed towards ensuring a sustainable fisheries and responsible management in the Pacific region. 11 million US dollars over the five year life of the OFMP is not an insignificant investment, one which we are demonstrating is sound and which contributes greatly to global returns for the GEF International Waters portfolio and its objectives.”

“The overwhelming significant ‘win’ that GEF assistance contributed to was of course the means for Pacific Islands States to negotiate the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Convention (WCPFC) to its successful conclusion and the establishment the Commission for the Convention. Pacific island members to the WCPFC were, and are, major players in the arrangement and this is not a position they have achieved without a great deal of assistance from many avenues. Pitted against larger more resourced developed countries with other agendas, the FFA members should be very proud of their progress towards ensuring the conservation and management of a migratory fisheries resources that represents for them livelihood and economic development opportunities.”

Full Statements and Presentations to the meeting are available on