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By Pita Ligaiula at Waikiki, Hawaii
The region’s Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) has expressed support for proposals by Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) to establish a new Science-Management dialogue.
The proposed Science-Management dialogue would allow delegates at the meeting to be better briefed on the science behind fisheries.
“We are fully supportive of the proposal to establish a scientific dialogue. We see that is the appropriate mechanism where the discussions on the development of harvest strategies can take place,” said newly appointed FFA director general Dr Manu Tupou-Roosen.
“Right now, we don't have a clear space for those discussions.
“We also see it as an opportunity where our scientists can explain in layman's terms to our managers what the science means so they can make informed management decisions.”
Dr Tupou-Roosen said these talks would take place before the commission to ensure that delegates did not become bogged down with details at an already full meeting but instead had some clear science-based recommendations to allow fisheries managers to work efficiently and make regionally beneficial decisions.
She said the FFA had a single strategy - to cooperate with Parties to the Nauru Agreement(PNA).
“It is the only way we can be successful as a region and we are so pleased with the close working relationship with the PNA office in particular with the CEO Ludwig Kumoru who has been very open to working more collaboratively with FFA so we are excited about that,” Dr Tupou-Roosen said.
“He mentioned earlier in the week about best practice governance and we are heartened that we share the same goal with Ludwig.”
Dr Tupou-Roosen said as the new DG, the use of best practice governance would be one of her priorities.
“One of the key aspects in this work is the participation of small island developing States members and by that we mean additional funds so that they can be in the room so that they can participate and be part of the decision-making processes for this commission,” she said.
“So, one of the proposals from our membership is to have an additional participant come not just to the commission meeting but also to the key subsidiary body meetings ahead if this commission - the scientific committee and the technical and compliance meetings. Associated with that is a proposal on hosting in SIDS territories, in SIDS countries.
“We see this as another fundamental aspect of effective participation because as we all know when these meetings come to our homes it reaches a wider breadth of our people, they gain a better understanding of this Commission and its work and its importance to the region and it's situated in this region in this region, in our region, and so we have the ability there to put into context the decisions we take as a Commission. And why it is so important that we maximise economic returns from this Fishery and why it is so important that when we maximise those economic returns we will naturally produce social yields social returns for us. Food security employment, alleviating poverty, prioritising health and education, adaptation to climate change all of those. That is why it is so critical for us to take this role responsibly this coming week,” she explained.
Looking confident in her new role, Roosen – who replaced James Movick this year – briefed regional journalists ahead of the week-long meeting.
“We want to ensure that whilst we are fully committed to adopting a compliance monitoring scheme it must be one that addresses our concerns and our key concerns with this measure is to ensure that it is efficient, effective and delivering on its purpose and also that it is fair and produces fair outcomes and helps to improve compliance and unites us rather than divides us. Those are some of the key priorities,” she said.
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