The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) has been awarded the top prize in the 2019 Stop Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing competition.
‘This achievement recognises FFA’s work in Monitoring, Control and Surveillance initiatives to deter IUU fishing in the Pacific. Well done to the team at FFA, past and present, and all of our FFA member countries. And the award is particularly timely given FFA has just kicked off our 40th anniversary celebrations,’ said FFA Director General, Dr Manumatavai Tupou-Roosen
‘This award is a reflection of the work we do to protect the rights of FFA members over the tuna within our Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs), and the foundation of the economic and social benefits that flow from that. We have to ensure that there is long term sustainability of oceanic fish stocks to secure our peoples’ future livelihoods and regional food security.’
A panel of judges used a range of key criteria including demonstrated success and innovation in reducing IUU, the feasibility and cost of IUU mitigation activities, the potential for replication and approaches to education and capacity building.
‘In preparing our submission for the award, the FFA Secretariat felt we were well able to demonstrate high level performance against all the criteria,’ said Dr Tupou-Roosen.
‘Our integrated approaches to combatting IUU are coordinated through the Regional Fisheries Surveillance Centre at FFA and encapsulated in our Regional Fisheries Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Strategy. The underpinning theme of FFA and the IUU strategy is our regional cooperation. That is our Pacific way and it is the only way we are going to ensure a successful, safe, secure and prosperous future for our region.’
The bi-annual competition is run by the Global Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) Network and was announced at its meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.
While receiving the prize on behalf of FFA, the Acting Director for Fisheries Operations, Mr Allan Rahari, extended his thanks to the judges for their confidence in FFA, as well as the hard work and commitment of the FFA Secretariat’s current and former staff, and the Member countries.