A five-member ministerial delegation led by the Minister of Fisheries John Maneniaru conducted a brief educational tour to the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) headquarters on Friday.
Minister Maneniaru was joined by Foreign Affairs Minister Milner Tozaka, Minister of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification David Dei Patcha, Designated Minister of Forests Hon. Bartholomew Parapolo and Minister of Health and Medical Services Dr. Tautai Angikimua.
The Ministerial delegation met with Director General of Forum Fisheries Agency James Movick. The Director General gave an overview of the regional organisation which was been hosted by the Solomon Islands for almost 40 years.
The extensive presentation covered the work program by FFA for its 17 members, including Solomon Islands.
The presentation highlighted among other things the total number of catches for the different fish species such as Albacore tuna, Yellow fin, big eye and skip jack and how much they are worth when sold in the overseas market.
He rounded up the presentation by talking about the future of fisheries with FFA already making progress by marking out the pathway it will take to ensure a Sustainable Pacific Fishery.
The final part of the programme took the ministers to the FFA’s Regional Fisheries Surveillance Centre. Ministers saw how the centre monitors fishing vessels in the Pacific EEZs, using different layers of information to present a Regional Surveillance Picture.
“It was an eye opener for us,” said Foreign Minister Mr Tozaka of the facility.
The Foreign Affairs Minister recalled that he was the Permanent Secretary for Police when he ordered the arrest of the American Purse Seiner Jeannette Diana in June 1984.
He described the visit as important for them and was pleased to see other Ministers were able to attend despite their busy schedule.
“I am happy that we were able to make this visit because FFA is a very important organisation for us,” he added.