Director General of Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency visits Niue

Niue hosted the Director General of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency  Dr Manu Tupou Roosen with the focus on women in fisheries leadership last week.

The women put that leadership into action as female staff of the Ministry of Natural resources went out fishing early Thursday morning last week while the men and some invited guests participated on vakas.

This was to mark World Tuna day, although the day falls in May, it was decided to mark the day during the visit of the Forum Fisheries Agency’s Director General.

Staff members and Dr Tupou-Roosen departed the wharf in the early hours of the morning for fishing ventures and returned by the cut off time at 10am  for weigh in before distributing prizes.

“It’s been an amazing visit to Niue, It’s such a privilege to come to a country, especially to one of the most beautiful countries in the world. We’ve had a brilliant time here with the program that’s been set up by honorable Mona, Doctor Josie, Poi , Director and the team here and we’ve had such a warm welcome and a very meaningful visit. Yesterday we had an event with the women here and it was very heartwarming and sharing stories , experiences about ensuring that we empower women and to day the magic of fishing and we did catch something today , we were determined not to come back empty handed but it just reminds us of the work we do and why we must give it our best , the clear message  from this week’s visit is that we’re doing this for our people , our children , our future.”   said Dr Roosen

This is the first visit by the Director General of FFA.

Meanwhile, an agreement has been established with the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency on an aerial surveillance programme as part of efforts to address the unreported, unregulated fishing in Niue’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

The agreement was made during the visit of the Director General of FFA Dr Manu Tupou Roosen last week.

“It’s not so much about the illegal fishing at the moment, it’s more of, some of the vessels breaching the licensing conditions. There’s been a lot of discussion on how do we , what ways to reduce IUU (illegal unregulated and unreported ) fishing  especially unreported , unregulated so we’ve had over the last couple of days ago we’ve had discussions with the Forum fisheries agency on an MOU that will facilitate a regional aerial surveillance programme for Niue so that’s going into cabinet today so we’re hoping we’ll have some  positive news but the plan is actually to just enhance the regulations in place. So niue also have the vessel monitoring system , we don’t have a patrol but we can have access to these assets if we need to.”    said Josie Tamate – Director General of Ministry of Natural Resources

Director General of the Ministry of Natural Resources Josie Tamate is the current Vice Chair of the Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.

Niue has been praised for its efforts in fisheries management.

Quentin Hanich who leads the Fisheries Governance Research Program at the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS), University of Wollongong told BCN News it’s an amazing effort by a small country in regards to fisheries management.

Niue’s fisheries department is working in partnership with the University of Wollongong’s fisheries governance research team which advises international organizations and national governments on fisheries governance and marine conservation in the Pacific islands region.

“Sometimes people think that we’re the smallest one but we have the opportunity to be innovative and when you’re innovative you can push boundaries and look at ways, the opportunities that are there for Niue, fisheries and governance.  Sometimes they say it’s not just the fish we’re talking about, it’s actually the people that goes out and harvest so the idea is to find opportunities where Niue can be able to get a little bit more from our resources. At the moment our revenue is not as high compared to the others, especially those in the equatorial or tropical waters because Niue is further down. It’s a different type of fisheries altogether but as members of the Commission, FFA we have our participatory rights that we do have rights to this fisheries so where we can we will look at opportunities for Niue.” said Tamate

Story by Sofaia Koroitanoa

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