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New SMA for the Ha'apai Island Groups in 2018

Two teams traveled to Ha’apai from the Ministry of Fisheries to develop the SMA (Special Management Area) Management Plan of Kauvai( Muitoa, Ha’ano, Pukotala & Fakakai ) also ‘Uiha and Faleloa.

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Launching of Tonga National Strategy on Aquatic Biosecurity

His Honorable Minister of MAFF and Ministry of Fisheries, Hon. Semisi Fakahau, launched the Tonga National Strategy on Aquatic Biosecurity on the 5th of April 2018 at Tanoa International Dateline Hotel.

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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.

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Press Release
9 July 2019
Ministry of Fisheries launches significant project to lift sector performance
A key project which aims to improve management and recovery of selected fisheries in Tonga to
benefit more than 10,000 people in over 40 coastal communities has begun.

Minister for Fisheries Hon Semisi Fakahau, Vice President World Bank Group Madame Victoria Kwakwa (seated, third from left) and CEO for Fisheries Dr Tu’ikolongahau Halafihi, with World Bank Officials, sector stakeholders and Fisheries staff at the Mabé Pearl Centre in Neiafu, Vava’u

Minister for Fisheries Hon Semisi Fakahau, Vice President World Bank Group Madame Victoria Kwakwa (seated, third from left) and CEO for Fisheries Dr Tu’ikolongahau Halafihi, with World Bank Officials, sector stakeholders and Fisheries staff at the Mabé Pearl Centre in Neiafu, Vava’u

At an official event in Neiafu, Vavaú on Tuesday 2 July, the Ministry of Fisheries and the World
Bank launched the Halafononga ki ha Ngātai Tuúloa Tonga: Pathway to Sustainable Oceans
World Bank Vice President for East Asia and Pacific, Madame Victoria Kwakwa, and a delegation
of senior World Bank officials joined the Minister for Fisheries Hon Semisi Fakahau, Fisheries CEO
Dr Tuíkolongahau Halafihi, and sector stakeholders at the occasion. The successful event involved
a formal ceremony, followed by a boat excursion to view Mabé pearl farms and Special
Management Areas in Útungake and Útulei.
Known in short as Tongafish Pathway Project, the World Bank-funded USD 10 million, six-year
programme supports achievement of the Tonga Fisheries Sector Plan long-term goals. The
objective is to strengthen sustainable management and development of selected commercial,
aquaculture, and community fisheries.
The selected fisheries are: Offshore commercial fisheries (tuna longline and deepwater snapper);
inshore commercial fisheries; aquaculture for Mabé pearl oysters (Pteria penguin) and giant clams
(Tridacna spp.); and community managed SMAs.
Anticipated outcomes include an efficiently supervised sector, increased women and youth
participation, and food security. World Bank Vice President for East Asia and Pacific Madame
Victoria Kwakwa stated, “Healthy, sustainable fisheries and marine environments are critical to life
here in Tonga, delivering positive economic, social and environmental outcomes, including for
women, by promoting female involvement in decision making around fisheries management.”


Left: World Bank delegates on a boat trip to view Mabé pearl farms; Right: A presentation of oyster lines by Ministry of Fisheries staff.

A significant focus of the project will be training and capacity building for Fisheries Ministry staff,
and SMA and aquaculture stakeholders. Minister for Fisheries Hon Semisi Fakahau said the World
Bank’s generous support will be “the main means for empowering staffs of the Ministry of
Fisheries…in close collaboration with other line ministries and development partners, and facilitate
capacity development in the Fisheries Sector to achieve effective management of sustainable
fisheries throughout the country by year 2024”.
For implementation, a Project Management Unit (PMU) has been established as a new division of
the Ministry. The PMU ensures effective project governance according to World Bank
requirements. Delivery of project activities sits with the Ministry’s three operational divisions – the
Science; Compliance; and Management and Development Divisions.
While the Tongafish Pathway is primarily a Ministry of Fisheries project, the Ministry will work
closely with other government departments, regional agencies, development partners and
The Tongafish Pathway project is financed through an International Development Association
(IDA) grant and credit resources: USD 5 million in Regional IDA and USD 5 million in National IDA.

Two days workshop launched by the CEO for Fisheries Dr. Tu’ikolongahau Halafihi on the 21st and 22nd of May at the Davina House in Ma’ufanga, Tonga.

Workshop Members

Tonga is the first of 11 countries in the Pacific region that have been given the honor to have the Ocean Finance Profile. Ocean Finance Profile is one of the objectives of The Pacific Ocean Finance Program(POFP), which is a three year program implemented by the Pacific Forum Fisheries Agencies(FFA) and the Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner(OPOC) with the aim to increase the amount and efficacy of financial investments into Pacific Ocean governance.CEO for Fisheries Dr.Tu’ikolongahau Halafihi, Dr.Melissa Walsh with workshop participants at the workshop venue.

Tonga’s Ocean Finance workshop aim was to support cross-sector discussions on the status and opportunities to improve Ocean Finance for Tonga. This workshop was conducted by Dr.Melissa Walsh from the Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner(OPOC), assisted by a collection of experts from Pacific Island Forum Secretariat(PIFS).

As Dr.Halafihi said in his opening remarks “This workshop aims At improving finance for tonga’s ocean health, governance, indeed this is greatly linked directly to give priorities stimulated in Tonga’s strategic framework and Tonga Fisheries sector plan which includes sustainable community fisheries, sustainable commercial fisheries, public and private investments and improve fisheries governance”

“This workshop is useful for Tonga as ocean’s health and governance are a priority for Tonga”, Dr. Halafihi concluded, “I hope this workshop will help us better understand the responsibility as custodians of the ocean.”

Participants include Representatives from line Ministries and Special Management Areas(SMA)community of Nukuleka and Ha’atafu also the staff of the Ministry of Fisheries Tonga.