THE ANNUAL MINISTERIAL FORUM FISHERIES COMMITTEE AND THE REGIONAL FISHERIES MINISTERS MEETING, MAJURO, REPUBLIC OF MARSHALL ISLANDS, 3-6 JUNE 2023
(MAJURO, REPUBLIC OF MARSHALL ISLANDS, 3-6 JUNE 2023) - The Annual Ministerial Forum Fisheries Committee 20 (FFCMIN20) and the Regional Fisheries Ministers Meeting 4 (RFMM4) was held in Majuro, the Government of Marshall Island from the 3-6 June 2023. The Ministerial meeting was preceded by a one-day meeting of the Forum Fisheries Committees (FFC127). At this meeting, members of the FFC consolidated proposals and matters to be considered by Ministers at the FFCMIN20 and the RFMM4 and their Retreat on the final day of the meeting
The year’s FFCMIN20 focus on areas to improve the management and development of the tuna fisheries resources the fisheries waters of its members. The key agenda for the meeting includes:
- Impacts of Climate Change on Oceanic Fisheries
- Combating IUU Fishing
- Implementation of Zone Based Limits and Management
- Priorities for WCPFC
- US Tuna treaty re-negotiation
- Review of FFA Governance
- Donor Engagement and Partnership
The RFMM4 meeting this year concentrate on regional and national activities related to coastal fisheries and aquaculture. CROPS partners that collaborate in this meeting includes SPC, FFA, PIFs and SPREP. The key items discussed at the RFMM4 includes:
- 15th SPC Heads of Fisheries Meeting
- Coastal fisheries and Aquaculture
- Climate change and fisheries
- Marine pollution and fisheries
- Review of regional fisheries policies: The Fisheries Roadmap and the New
Song for Coastal Fisheries
- Implementation Plan for the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent and
the Review of Regional Architecture
The Tonga delegation was headed by Dr. Tuíkolongahau Halafihi, CEO for Ministry of Fisheries with Mele T. Átuekaho (Deputy CEO, Fisheries Compliance Division) and Makeleta Mahe, Senior Fisheries Officer.
The Signing of the SPG MOU and the FFA COUNTRY PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT
The highlight of the meeting is the Minister’s witnessed the signing of the MoU by South Pacific Group (SPG) including Tonga. Dr. Halafihi signed the MOU on behalf of the government of Tonga. The MOU’s immediate areas of interest is the management of the southern longline fishery, with a particular focus on South Pacific albacore tuna. This fishery stretches across the exclusive economic zones of SPG members, who work with the broader Pacific FFA membership on proposals to improve the management of albacore within the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).
In addition, the meeting was also an opportunity for CEO for Fisheries, Dr. Halafihi and the Director General for FFA, Dr. Manu Tupou-Roosen to sign the Country Partnership Agreement (CPA) between the Government of Tonga and the Pacific Island Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA). The CPA is designed to provide guidance to FFA and Tonga on the offshore fisheries priorities that emanate from national and strategic plans including what tasks have to be done and the sharing of responsibilities. The Agreement will also act to facilitate delivery of offshore fisheries outputs (including services provided by the Secretariat) in a coordinated manner. In doing so, it will assist members, the Secretariat and other offshore fisheries stakeholders to achieve the specific outcomes that they have enumerated in national and regional strategic plans.
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