DEVFISH creates economic benefits for Pacific Islands

NADI, FIJI, MONDAY 23 NOVEMBER: As the Steering Committee for DEVFISH met today, a publication was launched profiling achievements of the
project. The Development of Tuna Fisheries in the Pacific ACP Countries Project (DEVFISH) is a European Union funded regional project, which encourages and guides governments to make policy changes that can make it easier for local Pacific fishing industries to grow and profit.

DEVFISH, implemented by the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) and Secretariat for Pacific Community (SPC), supports fisheries
development to increase income, jobs and food security from fishing for Pacific Islanders. While in the past, Pacific Islands have relied on foreign fishing access fees for income. For example, Pacific Island countries catch just $600 million worth of tuna from its fisheries while foreign nations fishing in the same waters catch over $2 billion. Pacific Island governments are looking for options to increase domestic fisheries development, with the assistance of DEVFISH.

The new publication, DEVFISH - a Fairer Slice for Pacific Peoples, profiles DEVFISH achievements from 2005 to 2009. It includes articles about DEVFISH’s role in improved information for policy making, improved strategies for fisheries development, improved opportunities for private sector participation and improved trade and investment in tuna products.

People profiled in the new publication, DEVFISH - a Fairer Slice for Pacific Peoples, include:
FIJI: An interview with a the General Manager of Hangton Pacific Company in Suva, Jitendra Mohan, explains the value of a  DEVFISH training course for Enterprise Managers, “Building and Maintaining Successful Relationships in Seafood Businesses: “We were able to go to some of the factories which had been operating under Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points certification. It’s a current issue here in Fiji at the moment.”  The workshop gave Jitendra and the others a more practical understanding of international trade and marketing, improving fishing vessel performance, future trends in Pacific fisheries and issues of quality and handling, including the requirements for HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) certification.

FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA: An interview with James Movick, undertaking the Offshore Fisheries Development Project (OFM-FSM) reveals plans to facilitate and promote approaches to create more economic benefits for Micronesians from fishing:  “The whole idea is to facilitate investment, particularly onshore investment that creates jobs. Current investment proposals that we’re looking at anticipate reasonably in excess of a thousand new jobs. That’s a significant benefit to an economy that has seen -0.2 per cent average growth over the last twenty years.”

TONGA: An interview with Executive Officer of the Fishing Industry Association of Tonga (FIAT), Nailitima Tupou, Fishing Industry Association of Tonga (FIAT), an association of private sector fishing and processing companies points to the role of DEVFISH in industry networking. Although the local fishing industry had already been working towards developing an umbrella organisation for fishing companies according to Nailitima, “it would have been extremely difficult to establish something like what we have now. I would say that DEVFISH played a crucial role in getting the Tonga fishing association to where it is today.”

TUVALU: An interview with Tuvalu’s Director of Fisheries, Sam Finikaso outlines how a Tuna Development Plan was created after people called for more jobs and participation in the fishing industry. The National Tuna Development Plan has a five year structure, providing both practical recommendations and long term goals. “By doing so, I believe that the wishes and views of our people from every island are met. This is something that I personally felt we should be doing,” Sam said. “I am very confident that Tuvaluans will soon realize and enjoy the benefit that they are entitled to as resource owners in the very
near future.”

All content in the publication is freely available for use by the media.

PDF icon DEVFISH Book web[1].pdf1.87 MB