Japan and F.A.O. support Pacific coastal fisheries

The Government of Japan and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (F.A.O.) will collaborate in a regional project to boost coastal fisheries and livelihoods.

A signing ceremony between the Government of Japan and FAO took place at the FAO Subregional office in Apia on Monday. 

An exchange of notes is an agreement between Japan and FAO in relation to regional funding for a project, which would enhance livelihoods and food security, through near-shore fish aggregating device fisheries in the Pacific. 

The Government of Japan is providing US$4.636 million (12.248 million tala) for the three-year project.

This project will include several countries in the region and will contribute to enhanced food security, livelihoods and revenues in selected fishing communities. 

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The project will strengthen existing fish aggregating device (FAD) programmes or develop and pilot new programmes, strengthen fishers’ associations and cooperatives, improve safety at sea for FAD fishers, and promote alternative livelihood activities.

Ambassador of Japan to Samoa, Maugaoleatuolo Shinya Aoki, assured the Samoa Government of Japan’s commitment in his opening address. 

“Japan is committed and engaged in international cooperation – through FAO activities in addressing the complex challenges of food security and the safeguarding and sustainable management of marine resources – of Samoa and the Pacific community,” he said. 

“We are of the firm conviction that with our collaboration with FAO, we can be able to develop an improved fisheries management of near-shore resources, and achieve greater efforts in promoting livelihoods of our friends and partners of the Pacific region.”

Pacific Island nations identify with fisheries as a source of food and cultural identity, added Eriko Hibi, who is the FAO Subregional Coordinator for the Pacific Islands based in Apia.

“Fisheries are an important source of food, income and cultural identity for Pacific Island nations. FAO is pleased to work with Japan to support fishing communities, develop livelihood opportunities and improve sea safety for fishers in the region,” she added. 

The project will employ inter and intra-country expertise across the Pacific and in other regions, with similar small-scale tuna fisheries such as the Caribbean to contribute to knowledge sharing on aspects of near-shore fish aggregation device management, design and deployment.

FAO will also engage regional partners, such as the Pacific Community (SPC) and Japanese research institutions that have a significant commitment to make regarding the development of the fisheries sector in the Pacific.

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