PORT VILA, (VANUATU DAILY POST) – The Ministers of Fisheries from Vanuatu, Samoa and the Federate States of Micronesia (FSM) have put pens to paper Wednesday agreeing on the certain technical priorities that they want the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) to deliver for the next three years.
The agreement is known as the Country Service Label Agreement.
According to the Director General (DG) of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), James Movick,: “CSLA is a mechanism whereby we (FFA) agree with certain member countries on the type of work and activities that they would want to undertake in their fisheries administrations.”
The Director of Vanuatu’s Fisheries Department, Kalo Pakoa, said the department of fisheries for these FFA countries will be working under these agreements within the 3-year period. Anything that is not mentioned in the agreements will not be focused on, he added.
The CSLA is a ‘two-way street’, said DG Movick.
“What we (FFA) intend to do is ensure that the information is used in our annual work programme and budgeting so we are able to address the priorities each members have raised in the agreements.
“While the secretariat is committed to bring resources into each of the country, the countries are committed to undertake certain actions as well as to ensure the programme of intervention is a successful one.”
Director Pakoa said the agreement will bring economic benefits to Vanuatu.
“We (Vanuatu) have been receiving a lot of technical support from the secretariat regarding its monitoring surveillance capability, licensing system and other legal services.
“In terms of the monitoring, there is a lot of implications concerning the US Treaty, improvement of our licensing system and revenue collection,” he said.
CSLA is a 3-year living document that can be updated every three years as circumstances require. So far 14 countries have already signed. Four countries that are yet to sign include Australia and New Zealand.
Wednesday’s agreements were signed by DG Movick on behalf of the secretariat between an official from the FSM foreign affairs, the Minister of Fisheries for Samoa, Laaulialemalietoa Leuatea F.C Shmidt, and the Minister of Fisheries for Vanuatu, Matai Seremaiah.
All ministers have expressed their governments’ appreciations while pledging their support as ministers responsible to ensure that all parties will work to strengthen relationship and fulfill the aims of the agreements.