The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) strengthens national capacity and regional solidarity so its 17 members can manage, control and develop their tuna fisheries now and in the future.
FFA advises members about relevant developments in international trade policy and economic co-operation frameworks, and how to advance their individual and collective fisheries interests in trade policy and economic partnership negotiations.
Since 1979, FFA has facilitated regional cooperation so that all Pacific countries benefit from the sustainable use of tuna – tuna is worth over $3 billion a year and is important for many people’s livelihoods in the Pacific.
Their vision statement encapsulates sustaining and building domestic economies of the Pacific countries:
“Our people will enjoy the highest levels of social and economic benefits through the sustainable use of our offshore fisheries resources.”
The Western & Central Pacific Fisheries Commission was established in mid-2004 by the Convention for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. It operates across Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) as well as the high seas.
WCPFC is the central decision-making body for managing tuna fishing in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. It considers the socio-economic opportunities and impacts of its decisions.
To maximise economic and social benefits of fisheries, FFA has outlined three tasks that the countries and territories need to consider, and FFA assists its members to carry out these tasks at the national and regional level:
- Manage the fishery to ensure use is sustainable and will provide tuna now and in the future.
- Develop the fishery to harvest, process and market tuna to create jobs, income and a thriving industry.
- Monitor, control and survey the fishery to stop illegal fishing and make sure fishing benefits go towards fishers who follow the rules of development and management set by governments.