It has been a long-term coming but finally here! Thanks to NZMFAT and FFA (particularly by the combined work of my friends and bosses Joanna Anderson and Pam Maru!) this big Catch Documentation Scheme project has been given a green light.
The funding agreement was signed during the "Pacific Regional Workshop for SIDS" that I'm participating here in Auckland. In one way or another, the next few years of my work would be related to this project that is very close to my heart and expertise, but key for me is that run by very good people I trust and like.
The FFA press release says:
In a move to enhance tuna fisheries management in the Pacific, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) committed NZD 4.9million to the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) yesterday.
This funding will be used by FFA to support a project that will establish and enhance catch documentation schemes (CDS) for FFA members over the next five years. The new Grant Funding Agreement was signed by Fletcher Tabuteau, Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, New Zealand and FFA Deputy Director General, Matthew Hooper.
“FFA Members work collectively to effectively manage their Pacific tuna fisheries, and this project will support members to access high-value export markets while tackling illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing,” said Mr Hooper on accepting the funding support.
The project aims to ensure FFA’s Pacific Island members maintain market access for their fishery products, by improving traceability along supply chains through the integration of fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance systems, the implementation of electronic reporting and the development of technological solutions to strengthen national capacity.
The project provides support for the development of national and regional CDS frameworks, national regulatory and policy frameworks and the development of CDS tools and associated training and capacity building.
The agreement follows almost two years of preparation and builds on work being undertaken to strengthen port state measures in the Pacific and complementing the existing comprehensive regional monitoring, control and surveillance framework implemented by FFA members.