Outcomes from FFA meetings

HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS, 4-13 MAY 2010: The FFA regional headquarters hosted officials from its 17 member countries and territories for a number of key meetings over the past two weeks. Outcomes include:

BILLFISH COMMITTEE – SC-SPTBF 4-5 MAY 2010
The FFC Sub-Committee on South Pacific Tuna and Billfish Fisheries (SC-SPTBF) has been considering short and long term management objectives and options for the longline fisheries targeting southern tunas including albacore, swordfish and striped marlin. The SC-SPTBF agreed to continue national consultations to prepare for a workshop in the margin of its next meeting in October 2010 to consolidate alternative longline management options for the future management of southern tuna and billfish fisheries. There will also be a workshop to prepare a revised strategic roadmap and workplan for guide the work of the SC-SPTBF.

OCEANIC FISHERIES MANAGMEMENT PROJECT

Project focal points from Pacific Island countries and participating agencies in the project FFA, SPC, IUCN, WWF met with UNDP to discuss and finalise plans for the submission for another phase of GEF funding. The meeting noted the substantial progress made as part of the Oceanic Fisheries Management Project in establishing the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) incorporating recognising rights of small island developing states. Several innovative conservation and management measures, such as observer coverage of purse seine vessels, closure of high seas pockets and cuts in overfishing of bigeye tuna have been adopted by the WCPFC based on Pacific Island proposals formulated with assistance of the project.

The meeting discussed priorities for implementation of conservation and management measures as identified in national consultations and how the project could contribute to meeting global standards for sustainable fisheries management.  The Project Document will be submitted to GEF Council in November, following national endorsement and technical review.

74TH OFFICIALS FORUM FISHERIES COMMITTEE
Officials from FFA member countries and territories met to make recommendations to Fisheries Ministers at their annual meeting, this year to be held in Madang, Papua New Guinea, 7-8 July 2010. Recommendations include:

REGIONAL MONITORING, CONTROL, SURVEILLANCE STRATEGY: Officials finalised the strategy text, which outlines regional cooperation to control fishing in the region.  This strategy will be presented to Ministers in July for their endorsement and launch.

OBSERVER PROGRAMME: FFC Officials agreed to increase resources for observer programmes at national and regional level to build national capacity and reduce reliance of FFA members on regional services.

DEVFISH II: FFA members noted the start of the EU-funded DEVFISH project’s second phase in July 2010 and the opportunity to identify national projects for early in the project.

 

REGIONAL ECONOMIC INTERGRATION UNIT: Officials recommended the establishment of this unit to strengthen FFA’s support for national-level development. REIF will target long term sustained in-country support funded by FFA. Assistance will respond to industry requests and facilitate government-industry collaboration to lead to increased in-country fisheries development.