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Japan, FFA complete fisheries fund talks in Honiara

Japan, FFA complete fisheries fund talks in Honiara

FFA HQ, Honiara, SOLOMON ISLANDS. -- Heads of fisheries from the Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga and Tuvalu met this week in Honiara with a high-level team from Japan to talk over development funding for regional fisheries. The talks fall under the Japan Promotion Fund (JPF) agreement with the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, FFA.

The Fund, established by Overseas Fishery Cooperation Foundation of Japan (OFCF) for FFA member countries in 2008, generated project funding for FFA members of around USD $1 million annually. This supports fisheries projects for FFA member countries. The JPF Steering Committee, a representative group of senior officials from FFA member countries and OFCF agrees on which projects receive funding support in any given year. Current steering committee members include Mr. Sylvester Diake of the Solomon Islands Ministry of Fisheries & Marine Resources, Feleti Tulafono of the Department of Fisheries in Tokelau, Nunia Mone, Head of Fisheries in Tonga’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries & Food, and Kakee Kaitu, Permanent Secretary of Tuvalu’s Ministry of Natural Resources.

“We are particularly honoured this year that the OFCF team is headed for the first time ever by its President, Mr Yoshio Ishizuka, which is a very strong signal of the importance that OFCF places on its fisheries relationship with FFA member countries and with the FFA,” said FFA Director General, Mr James Movick. He says Mr Ishizuka is a highly respected fisheries executive in Japan whose extensive background in Tuna research formed the basis of a high-level career leading up to his appointment as President of the OFCF in April 2012.

Established in 1973, the OFCF works to build relations between Japan and other coastal countries, including support for the work of regional fisheries management organisations such as FFA. The Foundation is a cooperative arrangement between the Japanese Government and the Japanese fishing industry.

Mr. Movick noted that OFCF has on going and very important bilateral fishing development programs with Pacific Island states that have fishing agreements.
“The associated OFCF program of technical training, study tours and invitation for key personnel program as well as the provision of important small scale fisheries development projects has significantly contributed to capacity building in Pacific Islands fisheries administrations over the past 40 years”, Director General Movick said.

The two-day meeting of the Joint Steering Committee (JC) began on Monday, February 24th at the FFA headquarters. It examined proposals for upcoming projects for funding after July 2014, and reviewed current projects. Membership of the FFA member delegation to the JC rotates each year and the recommendations of the JC go to the annual FFA governing council meeting in May.–ENDS


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