The Assistant Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Hon. Sakiusa Tubuna met with the Director-General of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), Dr. Manu Tupou Roosen in his office yesterday.
Discussions during the meeting were focused on working together to build resilience and innovation in order to further enhance our understanding on the contribution of tuna fisheries to food security in the region and also strategic ways for collaboration that will allow for a collective agreement for our Blue Pacific Region.
The Assistant Minister said that Pacific regionalism and supporting institutions such as the FFA have much to offer small island economies of the Pacific given their well-known constraints of remoteness, size and narrow resource base.
He highlighted that regional maritime organisations like FFA play a very critical role in assisting regional countries in the provision of data, information and scientific capability that enhance the countries in their management of fishery resources particularly, tuna stocks.
Assistant Minister Tubuna acknowledged FFA’s continuous support to Fiji and the region over the years, adding the Coalition Government will continue to support regional institutions, given their importance and added value to the strengthening of national capacity and regional solidarity so its members can manage, control and develop their tuna fisheries effectively.
FFA Director General, Dr. Manu Tupou congratulated Assistant Minister Tubuna on his new role, and further reaffirmed the agency’s commitments towards the Fiji Government and the Pacific on issues of importance to global and regional prosperity for the Blue Pacific region.
Dr. Tupou also congratulated the People’s Coalition Government for winning the General Election on the eve of Christmas, last year.
She added that Fiji is an important partner and steadfast member of FFA and they are looking forward to working with the Coalition Government in future.
Meanwhile, the FFA strengthens national capacity and regional solidarity so its 17 member countries can manage, control and develop their tuna fisheries now and in the future.
The FFA’s 17 Pacific Island member countries are Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
FFA was established to help countries sustainably manage their fishery resources that fall within their 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs).