The ongoing, sustainable management of the Pacific’s offshore fisheries is the focus of a new NZD$18 million Arrangement signed between the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA).
The five-year Arrangement, signed in Honiara on Friday, gives funding and planning certainty to an industry that contributes an estimated US$1 billion to Pacific Island economies annually.
“New Zealand recognises the important contribution FFA makes to economic development and regional solidarity in the Pacific,” said NZ High Commissioner Georgina Roberts. “Keeping the region’s tuna resources healthy, and growing the social and economic benefits to Pacific people, is something New Zealand has been committed to for more than four decades, and we are pleased to continue this important Partnership.”
The Arrangement will support a wide range of important services that FFA provides to its 17- member countries, including training, policy and technical advice, governance, fisheries surveillance and economic data, all within the framework of the FFA Strategic Plan 2020-25.
Welcoming the Arrangement, FFA Director General, Dr Manu Tupou-Roosen, thanked the New Zealand Government for its steadfast support at such an important time for the Pacific, noting the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on Member countries.
“New Zealand has always played an invaluable role for FFA – both as a founding member and as a long-standing development partner” said Dr Tupou-Roosen. “We sincerely thank New Zealand for its crucial support for our work towards maintaining the largest and most sustainably managed fishery in the world. Our work together with Member countries ensures the fisheries sector continues to support the incomes, jobs, livelihoods and food security for our people.”