FFA and Japan agree Pacific fisheries support

The OFCF and FFA have been agreeing priorities for Pacific fisheries Photo: FFA The OFCF and FFA have been agreeing priorities for Pacific fisheries Photo: FFA

Observer training, maritime boundaries and new training initiatives were on the agenda of a high-level meeting in Honiara between the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) and senior representatives of the Overseas Fisheries Cooperation Foundation (OFCF) of Japan.

The OFCF provides annual funding to the FFA for a range of initiatives that benefit FFA members.

“The OFCF’s support is very valuable. This partnership promotes mutually beneficial cooperation between FFA and Japan,” said the director general, Dr Manu Tupou-Roosen.

Dr Tupou-Roosen highlighted new and ongoing initiatives such as support for technical, policy and legal personnel from FFA members and regional agencies to work together to finalise maritime boundaries. Recent recipients of this support include Palau, Vanuatu, and Fiji.

Supporting the training and assessment of Pacific Islands Regional Fisheries Observer Trainers was also on the agenda. In June 2018 24 students graduated from USP Pacific TAFE with a level 4 qualification, 16 of which were directly supported through these funds. PIRFO Trainers are able to assess and certify students enrolled in PIRFO training courses and this qualification has become pivotal in the development and ongoing work in training observers in electronic reporting.

Finally Dr Tupou-Roosen urged support for the development of a dedicated site to access FFA training information. Responding to member’s requests for closer coordination of training activities, the site aims to share training events, publications and provide those seeking careers in fisheries with scholarship links and opportunities.

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