The 118th Forum Fisheries Officials Committee (FFC) meeting commenced this week with Fiji taking on the chair responsibility.
Acting Permanent Secretary for Fisheries, Pene Baleinabuli, called on the regional forum to continue strengthening efforts to address the multiple and increasingly complex issues involving the sustainable management of fisheries and other emerging issues.
“I encourage you to be driven by the fact that we are already very actively investigating ways of working with each other through national and regional and sub-regional arrangements in terms of trade, fish processing, revamped licensing modules of national fleets, employment of nationals, among many other observed initiatives including our offensive against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing,” Mr Baleinabuli said to the meeting.
FFC is the governing body of the Forum Fisheries Agency. FFC meets annually to approve the budget and work programme of the FFA. The FFC Chair rotates alphabetically through members.
Pacific Island Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) Director General, Dr Manu Tupou-Roosen welcomed Mr Baleinabuli’s appointment.
“”We recognise Members’ leadership in rising to the challenges being faced by COVID-19 which is so inspiring, yet not surprising given the strength and resilience of our Pacific people,”said Dr Tupou-Roosen.
“Under the excellent leadership of our FFC Chair, Mr Pene Baleinabuli, Acting Permanent Secretary of Fiji Fisheries, the FFC was able to provide very clear direction and guidance to the Secretariat through frank, open and robust discussions on key priorities for the coming year.
We have much work ahead of us and we look forward to working closely with our Chair of FFC during the year in maintaining the collaboration and cooperation leading to collective agreement for our Blue Pacific Region.”
The virtual meeting, from 25-28 May, is attended by representatives of the 17-member countries of the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) together with the region’s development partners.