Frank Chopin is retiring after eleven years of service for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (F.A.O.).
Mr. Chopin joined the Subregional office in Apia in August 2015 as Senior Fisheries and Aquaculture Officer following eight years in F.A.O. Rome where he was Chief of the Fishing Operations and Technology Service.
“Having worked in the private sector and government institutions, I appreciated the value in partnering and the importance of balancing production with shared responsibility to achieve sustainable growth,” said Mr. Chopin.
During his time in Samoa, Mr. Chopin was responsible for a number of F.A.O. areas of work including efforts towards improving the socio-economic viability and safety in small-scale fisheries and minimizing illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
“F.A.O. gave me an incredible opportunity to return working with Pacific Island countries and regional organizations in fisheries and aquaculture,” he said.
“Since leaving school in 1979, I have been fortunate enough to spend most of my working life doing what I love most – working with fisheries.
The Pacific with its abundant natural resources hold so much promise for the development aspirations of S.I.D.S. My thanks to all the pacific islanders in the private sector and government that made me so welcome and from whom I have learned so much.”
F.A.O. Subregional Coordinator, Eriko Hibi said the organization has been very fortunate to have long serving staff.
“Frank is one of those professionals who brought in solid technical expertise, he continuously updated knowledge, and had a strong network of professionals to partner with.” Ms. Hibi emphasized that it was his sense of service and commitment to the people F.A.O. serves which made him exemplary.
Mr. Chopin was involved in the recent approval of two F.A.O.-funded projects to strengthen community-fisheries in Tonga and Samoa. The aim of the projects is to strengthen the technical capacity for both countries to improve and streamline their community-based fisheries management programmes.
He was also involved in projects outside of fisheries. He recently led a group to Wojte atoll in the Marshall Islands to carry out interviews of householders to evaluate the impacts of the drought on household food production. Remote atolls in the Marshall Islands have been suffering from severe drought.
F.A.O. staff in Samoa wish Frank all the best for the future.