Pacific states meet with E.U. to discuss fisheries

Samoa and sixteen other member countries of the Forum Fishery Agency (F.F.A.) met the European Union to discuss issues and challenges relating to the sustainable management of marine resources. 

Samoa's delegation was led by the Associate Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Faaso'otauloa Pati Taulapapa. 

This is the first policy dialogue of its kind between the two organisations and was organised under the framework of the Pacific-European Union Marine Partnership (P.E.U.M.P.) Programme. 

Held in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia last Friday, a statement from the agency said the two-day meeting focused on the cooperation between E.U. and F.F.A. member countries implementation of regional and international measures aimed at reducing illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (I.U.U.) fishing and trade-related negotiations to remove fisheries subsidies.

F.F.A. Director General, Dr. Manu Tupou-Roosen said: “This policy dialogue is important because it is an opportunity for F.F.A. members and the E.U. to have an in depth discussion on key issues relating to the sustainable management of tuna in our region, its importance for Pacific Island countries, and our cooperation in the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission to tackle issues like I.U.U. fishing.

“This will further contribute to ensuring the sustainability of this critical resource for our people beyond the lifetime of the programme and that is what we value.”

The Acting Head of Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific, Corrado Pampaloni said fishery play a key role for many Small Island States, both in terms of food security and economic and social development.

“The E.U. is proud to be supporting the rightful development aspiration of small developing island states, while ensuring the overarching goal of sustainable fisheries and improved governance.

“As the life force that sustains our planet and every person on it, the E.U. will continue to support every effort to manage our oceans more sustainably –  for the benefit of local communities in the Pacific, and for of many the generations to come.

“The EU remains the largest fisheries consumer in the world and is a very important export market, particularly for the Pacific fisheries products. For these reasons, the E.U. has a key interest to maintain healthy fish stocks for future generations.

“The on-going discussions in an open and transparent manner will benefit both sides, and improve our understanding of main challenges and opportunities. I strongly believe that this first policy dialogue paves the way for increased cooperation between the E.U. and the Pacific region for the sustainable management of marine resources,” said Mr. Pampaloni.

Funded by the European Union and the Government of Sweden, the EUR 45 million (T$134.74 million) P.E.U.M.P. programme, which is a four-year initiative, promotes sustainable management and sound ocean governance for food security and economic growth, while addressing climate change resilience and conservation of marine biodiversity.

It follows a comprehensive approach, integrating issues related oceanic fisheries, coastal fisheries, community development, marine conservation and capacity building under one single regional action.

The programme is being implemented in close collaboration by the Pacific Community, F.F.A., the Secretariat of the Regional Environment Programme and the University of the South Pacific).

The Policy Dialogue is planned as an annual event under P.E.U.M.P.

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