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 developments in international trade policy and economic cooperation, and how to advance their individual and collective fisheries interests in negotiations on trade policy and economic partnerships.

Since 1979, FFA has facilitated regional cooperation. When the Pacific countries cooperate, they all gain from the sustainable use of tuna, which is worth over $3 billion a year and is important for many people’s livelihoods.

The agency’s 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 and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission was established in mid-2004 under the Convention for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. It operates in exclusive cconomic zones (EEZs) as well as the high seas.

WCPFC is the body that makes decisions about how to manage tuna fishing in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. It considers the socio-economic opportunities and impacts of its decisions. 

The FFA has outlined three tasks for countries and territories to consider so that they can maximise the economic and social benefits of their fisheries. It also helps its members to carry out these tasks at the national and regional levels:

  1. Manage the fishery to ensure use is sustainable and will provide tuna now and in the future.
  2. Develop the fishery to harvest, process and market tuna to create jobs, income and a thriving industry.
  3. Monitor, control and survey the fishery to stop illegal fishing and make sure that the benefits of fishing go to fishers who follow the rules of development and management set by governments.
Developing fisheries and economic opportunities for Pacific Islands people are as important as managing current fisheries. Photo credit: Francisco Blaha.