FSM Information Services
President Christian Meets Forum Fisheries Agency’s New Director-General
PALIKIR, Pohnpei—On April 30th, 2019, prior to the 110th Forum Fisheries Committee meeting to be held from May 6th to May 10th, 2019, Pacific Island Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) Director-General Dr. Manumatavai Tupou-Roosen had a courtesy call visit with His Excellency Peter M. Christian, President of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). The discussions focused on FFA, fisheries management in the Pacific, and FSM-lead commitments such as the Technology for Tuna Transparency (T3) Challenge.
Amongst other outcomes, Director-General Dr. Tupou-Roosen reconfirmed FFA’s “full support” to help the FSM meet the T3 Challenge, which aims for 100% transparency in FSM’s fisheries by 2023 through the use of electronic monitoring (EM) and other means.
President Christian highlighted several areas he’d appreciate that the Forum Fisheries Committee discuss when they convene on May 6th, 2019, including integrating fisheries into other sectors, with an emphasis on sustainable economic development, as well as collaboration on ensuring all stakeholders involved in fisheries—particularly those most vulnerable to exploitation, such as fishing aggregate device (FAD) watchers who, in other countries’ waters, can be at sea for months with virtually no external contact or resources—are treated fairly. “I wish the FSM could declare that to be human rights abuses,” the President said.
Director-General Dr. Tupou-Roosen appreciated that President Christian “highlighted a very important area,” adding that FFA is looking internally to determine what can be adopted as regional standards, to include labor conditions.
Finally, President Christian requested FFA’s assistance in acquiring additional patrol boats for the FSM, as well as all other large ocean states. “The economic zone of the FSM isn’t going to shrink…it’s going to continue to be about two million square miles.” While EM will improve the FSM’s capacity to limit IUU fishing, President Christian noted “we have to have the tools to get ourselves there [to enforce the law].”
“Thank you for raising that…we understand the challenge of the sheer size of our economic exclusive zones,” said Director-General Dr. Tupou-Roosen.
“Your qualifications and your experience are why I supported your nomination as Director-General…I look to you [and FFA] to continue to provide us help in improving our ability to guard our fisheries initiatives,” said President Christian. The FSM National Government has faith in the leadership capacity of Director-General Dr. Tupou-Roosen, who has 20 years of fisheries experience with some key achievements including leading the drafting group on revised texts of the U.S. Tuna Treaty, and driving the successful implementation of the multilateral Niue Treaty Subsidiary Agreement.
The 110th Forum Fisheries Committee meeting to take place in Pohnpei State from May 6th to May 10th, 2019 approximately coincides with the 40th anniversary of the FFA. The FSM National Government is honored to host FFA officials and stakeholders, and recognizes that the FFA remains a symbol of regional solidarity and regional cooperation.
To learn more about FFA, visit their website at: https://www.ffa.int/.