(Sopu, Tongatapu, November 30, 2022) – The Ministry of Fisheries together with the Vava‘u Environmental Protection Association (VEPA) NGO, held a day of celebration and awareness program for the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture. The year 2022 has been declared as the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture(IYAFA), with Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) as the leading agency, working in partnership with Pacific Island countries and regional organizations. IYAFA aims to highlight and enrich our understandings of the contributions of artisanal fishers and the aquaculture industry, and calls for our support and more actions towards national and global sustainable development, specifically, in relation to food security, nutrition, poverty eradication and the use of our natural resources. The celebration was to acknowledge IYAFA and the ongoing efforts and activities of artisanal fisheries and aquaculture within Tonga.
Figure 1: Participants for the IYAFA 2022 celebration and awaareness program
The program was chaired and opened by Mr. Poasi Ngaluafe, Deputy CEO for Ministry of Fisheries, Science Division. Participants included representatives from schools, communities (Special Management Areas), small scale fishers and other relevant stakeholders. Mr. Ngaluafe reiterated the importance of the public sustaining artisanal fisheries and aquaculture and why we need to support their activities, as they play important roles as livelihood for the people of the Tonga.
The celebration involved presentations by the Government Ministries on topics such as SMAs, Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs), livelihood and well-being of Fishers, the importance of artisanal fisheries and aquaculture to food security and nutrition, the challenges & threats of climate change and the importance of biodiversity to artisanal fishers. Question-and-answer sessions were held amongst the participants and also a sharing of common knowledge and experience from fishers who attended the program with the intention of inspiring the younger generation represented from schools to be more involved in Fisheries and to improve livelihood in their respective communities.
For more information, please contact:
Metuisela Pohiva, Ministry of Fisheries, Tonga