The Pacific Fisheries Ministers meeting held in Kiribati identified maximising value from their fisheries as key to supporting the economic recovery from Covid-19.
Incumbent Minister Vaine (Mac) Mokoroa represented the
Cook Islands at the annual 19th Forum Fisheries Committee
Ministerial (FFCMin19) meeting and the Regional Fisheries Ministers Meeting
(RFMM3) held late last month.
Incoming FFCMin19 and RFMM3 chair, Kiribati Minister
for Fisheries, Ribanataake Tiwau shared his vision of continuing to work
successfully together with participants in his opening statement.
“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is
progress, while working together means sustainable success,” said Tiwau.
“As we closed the meeting, we heard loud and clear our
Pacific Ministers expressing their strong desire to increase the level of
benefits generated from the region’s tuna fishery through greater involvement
in all levels of the value chain. We need to further investigate
diversification opportunities such as value-adding and new markets to improve
“We also need to work hard to realise the significant
socio-economic value and economic potential of aquaculture within the PICTs
region that remains largely under-developed.”
Tiwau said their discussions were wide-ranging and
they talked about short, medium and long term issues that they needed to work
An area of grave concern that they discussed in detail
was climate change and its impact on coastal and offshore fisheries resources,
“There is a distinct possibility that there will be
major reductions in revenue over time should the stocks move to the high seas
in response to climate change effects. Now is the time to develop cooperative
fisheries management approaches to build resilience into our collective
fisheries. We also need to apply further collective pressure by supporting ‘one
voice’ approach to our international engagement as Pacific SIDS.
“In terms of coastal fisheries a lot of work has been
done but we look forward to more information to develop a catalogue on climate
change actions and climate finance opportunities that the fisheries sector can
Agency director general Dr Manu Tupou-Roosen thanked the Ministers for their
guidance and support for the FFA Secretariat.
“I was really
inspired by what I heard from our Ministers and from our new Chair. His vision of partnerships between FFA
members to enable greater participation in all parts of the tuna value chain to
ensure we capture a greater share of the economic and social benefits for our
Pacific people was very powerful,” said Dr Tupou-Roosen.
“FFA loves that
dream, we share that dream, and we are committed to making that dream happen.
We thank our Members for their collaboration and continued trust in us to
deliver the important outcomes from this meeting.”