OPENING REMARKS BY THE ACTING DEPUTY DIRECTORY GENERAL PERRY HEAD AT THE FFA NTSA Workshop - HONIARA 14-15 March 2018
- IUU fishing is an ongoing challenge. A 2016 FFA study estimated the value of tuna product caught through IUU means in the Pacific at US$616.11 million with an annual economic loss to FFA members of US$152.67 million.
- This challenge has been continually underlined by Pacific Island Forum Leaders. The Regional Roadmap for Sustainable Pacific Fisheries, endorsed by Leaders in 2015, includes the objective of ensuring that sustainable management is not undermined by IUU fishing.
- At their most recent Forum meetings in 2016 and 2017, Leaders called for “action to ending Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported fishing and associated activities” and emphasised the need for “coherent and coordinated approaches” to address IUU fishing respectively.
- The multilateral NTSA will enhance active participation in cooperative surveillance and enforcement activities, thereby significantly assisting in combatting IUU fishing.
- The Secretariat has been working actively with members, in particular the Parties, towards implementation.
- Key work has included:
- the development of the Niue Treaty Information System (NTIS);
development of a Persons of Interest project to commence profiling of persons involved in IUU activity;
- review of laws and policies to ensure they reflect the key NTSA requirements;
- promoting a common understanding of the mandatory data which must be shared between the Parties;
- including identifying where the data is stored and how the data will be made available to other Parties;
- and ensuring national security standards policy are robust and consistent with the FFC-endorsed regional Information Security Management Systems (ISMS) - security standards policy.
- There are several opportunities presented by the NTSA, including the flexibility and ease for participating in a cooperative surveillance and enforcement activity, and mandatory sharing of key fisheries information such as licence lists and VMS to allow for planning and conduct of activities.
- To date, there are 10 Parties to the Agreement, and several other FFA Members have indicated that they are working towards ratification. This is very encouraging. We look forward to the full implementation of the multilateral NTSA by the Parties, as well as to welcoming more Parties to the Agreement.
- I would like to acknowledge and sincerely thank the Government of Australia for the generous funds provided for implementation of this Agreement.
- I strongly encourage you to make the most of these next 2 days of discussions so we can continue to progress this significant regional initiative.