The European Union’s newly-introduced Ambassador to the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu has added another first to his portfolio as he settles into his role, seeing from the inside how regional surveillance over fisheries is being led by the Pacific’s Honiara-based Fisheries Surveillance Centre.
As he made his first visit to the regional headquarters of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, FFA this morning, Ambassador Leonidas Tezapsidis and his team were taken through a briefing session with FFA Director-General James Movick and members of the FFA executive, ending with an information session highlighting how the FFA assists its 17-member countries with an informal briefing and photo-op at the FFA’s Regional Fisheries Surveillance Centre. As well as its direct support to the Solomon Islands, the EU supports the Solomon’s through regional partnerships, such as the multi-million dollar FFA and SPC DEVFISH II tuna fisheries project aimed at ensuring Pacific people get a fairer slice of the multi-billion dollar benefits from tuna industries.
The EU is a major market for Pacific tuna products and its vessels also provide licensing fees to many Pacific nations for fishing rights to their Exclusive Economic Zones, or EEZs.
LtR: FFA’s Surveillance Operations Officer Allan Rahari and Deputy Director-General Wez Norris with EU’s Aid Cooperation Attache Lorena Elvira Ayuso, Development Cooperation Head Pavlos Evangelidis, and Ambassador to the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, Leonidas Tezapsidis with FFA Director General James Movick, Fisheries Operations Director Noan Parkop, Surveillance Planning and Liaison Officer Ron Logan, and Surveillance Operations Officer Commander Gavin Baker.
– FFA media