Solomon Islands Opposes FFA Amalgamation, Says PM
Solomon Islands Opposes Forum Fisheries Agency Amalgamation, Says PM
Prime Minister Dr Derek Sikua has told his visiting Cook Islands counterpart, Jim Marurai that Solomon Islands remains opposed to the idea of amalgamating the Forum Fisheries Agency with other regional institutions.
He says there have been attempts to amalgamate regional institutions and the Forum Fisheries Agency which came under the spotlight recently.
But Dr Sikua said Solomon Islands along with other members of the regional fisheries agency, including Cook Islands have been opposing the amalgamation of the FFA with other regional institutions into one single body.
He said the idea is rejected because FFA is about sovereign Pacific nations deciding over sovereign resources, the fish and marine stocks, adding FFA is a separate entity under the pillar of the Pacific Plan.
Dr Sikua said under the Pacific Plan regional leaders and relevant institutions must work together to ensure their island nations continue to benefit from the FFA.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister says his Coalition for National Unity and Rural Advancement Government will continue to work closely with the Forum Fisheries Agency Management to ensure that Solomon Islands as the host, fulfils its obligations.
Dr Sikua said he appreciates the importance Cook Islands Prime Minister Mr Marurai attaches to the work of FFA especially in ensuring sustainable management and conservation of Solomon Islands tuna stocks.
He said Mr Marurai's visit to the FFA headquarters is significant because it reflects the importance he attaches to the important institution.
Prime Minister Sikua added that it is always an honour to host the Forum Fisheries Agency.