Introduction to DEVFISH

The Development of Tuna Fisheries in the Pacific ACP Countries Project (DEVFISH) is a European Union funded regional project, with the objective of increasing the economic benefits to Pacific Island countries from tuna fisheries. It aims to do this by creating the right policy and economic environment for the further development of fishing and processing operations, with emphasis on the private sector.
FFA’s Strategic Plan has two work programmes – Management and Development. DEVFISH is the lead donor-funded project in the Development area.

Timing and staff

The Project is now in the final year of its four year duration. It has three permanent staff: Mike Batty is the Team Leader and Fisheries Development Policy Specialist, and is based at FFA in Honiara;

Jonathan Manieva is the Fisheries Development Officer, based in Noumea with SPC; and

Leonard Paia is the Project Coordinator, also at FFA.

In December Mike will move to a new job with SPC, and the project will be supervised by Peter Philipson, Fisheries Economics Adviser, at FFA.

The Project is designed to support regional thinking and national action. The regional component supports analysis, consultation and training at the regional level on shared and common aspects of tuna development. The national component can support a range of activities, from strengthening fish producers’ associations and improving consultation between private sector and Government, to helping with seafood safety requirements for access to European markets. The Project is helping countries to develop national action plans, and implement them. Reports and results are being widely distributed - many can be downloaded from this web page.

The third meeting of the project steering committee was held just before the FFC meeting in Palau in May 2008. This reviewed project reports, and discussed the work plan for 2008/09. At the national level, requests to the project for help can be made by a representative of the private sector, normally a fishing industry association, endorsed by FFA's Government contacts. Most countries have now identified a suitable mechanism and requests have been actioned from most FFA member countries.

Current activities
By mid 2008, Project staff had visited all of the 14 Pacific ACP countries, in some cases several times, for consultations and to advance the work programme. Regional reviews of the economic benefits derived from different development strategies for the major tuna export fisheries and processing industries have been completed, as well as studies on other small-scale export fisheries.

Two major studies on development strategies for the region were completed in early 2008 and follow-up work is now in progress.

Twelve Pacific ACP countries have now received assistance including technical studies, training, equipment and support for fisheries associations. A tuna industry development action plan was prepared in Papua New Guinea, as well as a fisheries development master plan for Tuvalu. Assistance with development planning is in now progress.