FFA provides assistance for national fisheries development

PACIFIC ISLANDS, 29 SEPTEMBER 2010:  A unique FFA initiative is underway to increase the returns to domestic economies by assisting national fisheries development through facilitating productive investment activities in member countries.

The FFA Regional Economic Integration in Pacific Island Tuna Fisheries Programme (REI) targets long term sustained in-country support for fisheries-related national development projects and is funded by the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA). REI national assistance responds to government requests and facilitates government-industry collaboration to lead to effective implementation of selected  in-country fisheries development projects.

Started in 2010, the initial focus of the programme is to assist governments in taking selected investment proposals through to tangible developments, delivering benefits to their domestic economies in terms of employment, exports, government revenues, and beneficial linkages to other local commercial, civil, and government activities.

Essential characteristics of the REI in-country activities are: long term (12+ months) sustained in-country support funded by FFA; an agreed work plan tailored to each country's situation and aspirations; a fully commercial, private sector orientation; effective and close collaboration with administrations and industry; contracting country nationals where possible; and, most importantly, focusing on achieving specific tangible, agreed development outcomes in each of the countries where REI has a mandate.

The REI Programme currently has in-country activities in eight FFA member countries:

FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA: Work is underway on options to reactivate non-operating longline fishing bases in FSM, and to explore the establishment of a cooked loin facility in Pohnpei. If proceeded with, these activities will generate significant employment opportunities.

NAURU: FFA is assisting in the evaluation and negotiation of joint venture proposals received by the government.

KIRIBATI: FFA is providing support for a number of foreign investment proposals, involving analysis, evaluation, and negotiation services to the government. The REI has a project coordinator based in the Kiribati Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources Development to assist in commercial negotiations.

TUVALU: FFA is assisting with a number of proposals involving both purse seine and longline activities. The REI has provided a commercial adviser based in Fiji, but spending extended periods in Tuvalu, for assistance in this area.

SOLOMON ISLANDS: FFA is providing advisory services on a number of medium to large fisheries-related investment projects in the country. The REI has a project coordinator located in the Solomon Islands Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources Development providing ongoing advisory and facilitation support for industry-government negotiations.

TONGA: FFA currently working with the Government to develop options for longline fishing development.

VANUATU: FFA has a long-running program, utilizing an in-country adviser, to acquire full Competent Authority status for Vanuatu, that will allow export of fisheries products to Europe and other destinations.

NIUE: FFA is providing advisory services on possible fisheries-related investment projects in the country.