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Membership (dark blue) of the Pacific Islands Forum Fishery Agency

First ever fisheries dialogue between the EU and Pacific Forum Fishery Agency

EUROPEAN UNION
Friday, June 21, 2019, 16:30 (GMT + 9)

POHNPEI -- For the first time in the Pacific region, a policy dialogue between the seventeen (17) Forum Fishery Agency (FFA) Members and the European Union (EU) to discuss issues and challenges relating to the sustainable management of marine resources commenced in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia today.

Marine resources not only form the backbone of the Pacific economy, and plays an important role towards their economic development, but it is also essential to the livelihood, well-being and prosperity of the Pacific people. Therefore, the sustainable management of marine resources is vital for present and future generations.

The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) is an inter-governmental organization that aims to enhance cooperation between countries and territories of the Pacific Ocean. It was founded in 1971 as the South Pacific Forum (SPF). In 1999, the name was changed; "Pacific Islands Forum" is more inclusive of the Forum's Oceania-spanning membership of both north and south Pacific island countries, including Australia. It is an observer at the United Nations

FFA Director General, Dr. Manu Tupou-Roosen said: “This policy dialogue is important because it is an opportunity for FFA members and the EU 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 Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) 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 two-day meeting, which is organised under the framework of the Pacific-European Union Marine Partnership (PEUMP) Programme- a four-year initiative co-funded by the European Union (EU) and the Government of Sweden will also focus on the cooperation between the EU and FFA Member countries, implementation of regional and international measures aimed at reducing Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) fishing and trade-related negotiations to remove fisheries subsidies.

The Acting Head of Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific, Mr. 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 EU 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 EU 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 EU 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 EU 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 PEUMP programme 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 (SPC), the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), the Secretariat of the Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and the University of the South Pacific (USP).

The Policy Dialogue is planned as an annual event under PEUMP

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