Marujo, Marshall Islands (2 September, 2013) – Today, at the Conservation International (CI) and Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) jointly hosted Pacific Oceanscape Cocktail event, the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) received the Pacific Oceanscape Leadership Award for its work in improving tuna fisheries management in the Pacific Islands region.
Presented by the PIFS Secretary General and Pacific Oceanscape Commissioner, Tuiloma Neroni Slade, the award, sponsored by CI, was accepted by FFA CEO Mr. James Movick.
Secretary General Slade commended the FFA on the agency’s thirty years of work as a global leader to conserve and optimally manage the living marine resources of the region, in particular its highly migratory tuna stocks. “The FFA’s service to member countries and its work on key areas, including the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA), and the Fisheries Treaty with the United States, are on the public record and all greatly appreciated. The high standing of the Agency today, both regionally and internationally and the acknowledgements of its performance are the indicia of its value and success.”
Dr. Gregory Stone, Conservation International’s Executive Vice President, The Betty and Gordon Moore Center for Science and Oceans said, “Tuna is extremely important to the people of the pacific. For centuries, tuna has provided an important source of food for Pacific Islanders. Today, tuna are also an important source of income and employment for many Pacific Islands. For some, their tuna resources represent their only significant renewable resource and their best opportunity for economic development. Conserving this resource for the Pacific is essential for human wellbeing in this region and we congratulate the FFA on their outstanding work in this area.”
The FFA is an advisory body providing expertise, technical assistance and other support to its members who make sovereign decisions about their tuna resources and participate in regional decision-making on tuna management. The agency strengthens national capacity and regional solidarity so its 17 members can manage, control and develop their tuna fisheries that fall within their Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs).
Tuna is worth over $3 billion a year and important for many people’s livelihoods in the Pacific.
At the Pacific Oceanscape event Stone also applauded the support from Forum Leaders towards the Pacific Oceanscape and highlighted the benefit and ongoing need to nest the these efforts in an implementation framework. Stone sad, “ From the Phoenix Islands Protected Area, to the Cook Islands Marine Park, to the New Caledonia Coral Sea Marine Protected Area, we know that these sites as large as they may be, are not isolated from the surrounding ocean. That is why we too realize it’s so important to ground their work in the wider Pacific Oceanscape Framework and address the broader cross cutting issues such as climate change, tuna management, the high seas and indeed the way we all interact and value our ocean. We are working to reflect this expansion of interest particularly in climate change and tuna conservation management and linking the benefits of spatial planning for the ocean. This will take time, there are no quick fixes and CI is committed to the long haul on these initiatives.”
Covering over 10 percent of the world’s ocean area, the Pacific Oceanscape provides a framework for the integrated conservation management of the Pacific Ocean and Islands, including ocean health and security, governance, sustainable resource management, increased research and knowledge investment and facilitating the partnerships and cooperation needed to support the conservation this vast ecosystem.
Conservation International (CI) has worked in the Pacific since the 1990’s and closely with Pacific Islands Leaders, their regional intergovernmental agencies, and civil society to develop the Pacific Oceanscape Framework, which was endorsed formerly in 2010. CI has also contributed to other marine and terrestrial commitments in the region including the Phoenix Islands Protected Area, Coral Triangle Initiative, the Micronesia Challenge and locally marine managed areas in Fiji.
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– Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, CI empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature and its global biodiversity to promote the long-term well-being of people. Founded in 1987 and marking its 25th anniversary in 2012, CI is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area. CI employs 900 staff in nearly 30 countries on four continents and works with more than 1,000 partners around the world. For more information, please see www.conservation.org
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