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The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has launched a new Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) project with the Tonga Ministry of Fisheries called “Implementing recommendations to strengthen and enhance Tonga’s Special Management Area programme towards better-managed coastal fisheries resources and empowered, food secure communities”. This project was officially opened during a project inception workshop held on the 14th of March, 2018 in Nuku’alofa. The CEO for Fisheries, Dr Tu’ikolongahau Halafihi warmly welcomed participants of the workshop, including the Honorable Minister for MAFFF, Semisi Tauelangi Fakahau. The Hon. Minister officially opened the workshop and provided opening remarks, expressing his support and best wishes for the smooth implementation of the project. Assistant FAO Representative for Tonga, Mr Pau Likiliki provided remarks on behalf of FAO.

A one-week workshop was held at Davina House from the 7th – 10th of November 2017 for the Formulation of National strategies and action plans to improve compliance with the agreement on Port State Measure attended by experts from FAO, FFA, SPC, Ministry of Primary Industries – New Zealand, Fisheries officials from Cook Islands and government officials from line ministries.

The agreement on Port State Measures calls upon all member countries to develop and implement a consistent national Plan of Action and to provide a guideline/checklist of supporting actions for implementing the FAO Agreement on Port State Measures at operational and capacity development at the National level. Tonga signed the Port State Measures Agreement in 2016, aiming to eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, through globally agreed minimum standards for concerted action, enabling better inspections and controls at the ports and on vessels and strengthened flag state responsibility.