FUNAFUTI, (FFA) – Pacific ministers for Fisheries from all corners of the region arrived in Tuvalu’s capital Funafuti on the weekend to join local communities for a traditional Sunday to’onai feast. The family-style feast, hosted by Tuvalu’s Minister for Fisheries, Elisala Pita has set the tone for a similarly rich discussion at the 11th Fisheries Ministerial, from 30th June to 1 July.
Ministers and their fisheries officials will receive reports from Forum Fisheries Agency Director-General James Movick and his executive on standing agenda items covering the FFA Annual Report and administrative matters, but the key focus for this year’s Ministerial meeting will be consideration of a recent review of the Future of Fisheries Report launched by FFA and SPC in April 2010.
Five years on from the initial work, Ministers will be re-envisaging and re-invigorating regional agreement and cooperation on shared strategic outcomes and directions for regional fisheries management and development. Discussions on sustainability, increasing fisheries value, industry development, employment and food security will shape a roadmap for Pacific Leaders on the Future of Fisheries.
Given the importance of fisheries for government revenues, income and food security for communities across the Pacific Islands region, and the challenges of managing and sharing diverse fisheries stocks, Fisheries Ministers and Leaders have high-level responsibility and oversight across the key decision-making spaces affecting tuna fisheries and the benefits they provide to FFA members. This adds a political dimension to the high-level technical programs and developments that fisheries officials work through continually.