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    World Tuna Day: A reminder of a rich resource and the need to protect it



    JOINT MEDIA RELEASE:

    World Tuna Day: A reminder of a rich resource and the need to protect it

     

    POHNPEI, 2 May 2019– The Western and Central Pacific Ocean holds the world’s largest tuna fishery with a total catch of more than 2.5 million tons a year. The target species (albacore, skipjack, bigeye and yellowfin) are being managed at sustainable levels and there is no overfishing occurring for these stocks.  This is in stark contrast to all other oceans.

     

    “On World Tuna Day we are reminded of the need to maximise the economic and social benefits from tuna for our people, our communities and our Pacific region. We are also reminded of the critical importance of protecting this rich resource,” said Pacific Island Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) Director General, Dr. Manumatavai Tupou-Roosen.

     

    “But we can’t achieve this unless we continue to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and use our world leading frameworks for cooperation such as the Niue Treaty Subsidiary Agreement (NTSA).”

     

    The Niue Treaty is an agreement on cooperation between FFA members about monitoring, control and surveillance of fishing - it includes provisions on exchange of information (about where the position and speed of vessels at sea, which vessels are without licences) plus procedures for cooperation in monitoring, prosecuting and penalising illegal fishing vessels.

     

    While chairing the NTSA session at the 110th Forum Fisheries Committee officials meeting, The Federated States of Micronesia’s (FSM’s) National Oceanic Resource Management Authority (NORMA) Executive Director, the Honourable Eugene Pangelinan, reminded delegates that “The NTSA provides members with a legally binding framework to work together to enhance monitoring, control and surveillance activities and ensure sustainability of our tuna resources in order to combat IUU fishing.”

     

    He added that “One way to ensure we have maximum economic returns whilst achieving sustainability of the resource is by sharing information and resources as and when required, to help keep IUU fishing out of the Pacific neighbourhood and that is done through agreements like the NTSA.”

     

    Two years ago the United Nations mandated World Tuna Day in recognition of the need toraise awareness about the importance of tuna and to promote more sustainable fishing practices.

     

    The FFA is the cornerstone for cooperation between Pacific Island countries in the management of their shared tuna resources.  The FFA Secretariat also provides support to its members with monitoring, control and surveillance activities through national capacity buildingand regional initiatives.FFA members are leading the way in eliminating IUU fishing through the Regional Aerial Surveillance Program, Regional Observer Program, Vessel Monitoring Scheme, Information and technology services, and working with member countries on innovative new tools such as the Persons of Interest Strategy. 

     

    FFA staff currently attending the 110th Forum Fisheries Committee officials meeting in Pohnpei are joining World Tuna Day celebrations in a fishing tournament organised by NORMA. A celebration to also acknowledge 40 years of existence for two Pacific fisheries organisations - FFA and NORMA.

     

    ##ENDS##

    For more information and photos contact:

    Donna Hoerder, FFA Media, +691 920 5332 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Richard Clark, FSM Public Information Office, +691-920-1612 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

     

    About the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA)

    FFA assists its 17-member countries to sustainably manage fishery resources that fall within their 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs). FFA provides 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. www.ffa.int

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    #Ourfishourfuture #tuna #forumfisheries #fisheries2019 #FFA40yrs #FFA40th

     

    About the National Oceanic Resource Management Authority (NORMA)

    The Government of Federated States of Micronesia, National Oceanic Resource Management Authority (NORMA) manages oceanic resources and in particular tuna resources, within the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Federated States of Micronesia.www.norma.fm

     

    President Christian Meets Forum Fisheries Agency's New Director-General


    FSM Information Services

    Press Release

    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/

    Department of Education Helps Schools Make Data-Based Decisions with New Student Information System

    FSM Information Services

    Press Release

    Department of Education Helps Schools Make Data-Based Decisions with New Student Information System

    PALIKIR, Pohnpei—The National Department of Education (NDOE) for the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is making big strides in improving the capacity for schools in the State Departments of Education (SDOE) in Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae through the development and implementation of the Federated States of Micronesia Student Information System (FedSIS).

    Schools throughout the Nation are mandated to report data such as teacher attendance, student attendance, student grades, and more. Historically, most teachers and schools throughout the FSM created their own documents and forms to record the required data—by contrast, FedSIS standardizes data collection practices at the school-site level. FedSIS helps a school to manage their data in their day-to-day operations by offering a centralized tool to help teachers and principals collect and report information. Its feature-rich composition includes the capacity to automatically generate student report cards and provide easy-to-understand charts on individuals, classrooms, and aggregate school attendance and GPAs and more, which is useful both for managerial decision-making on behalf of principals as well as for reporting data to parents and SDOEs.

    Following initial training in July, August, and September 2018, presently 19 schools in the FSM are trained to use FedSIS to input, archive, and report school data. These include schools in urban areas such as in Weno (Chuuk State), as well as remote schools such as in Moch and Weipat (Mortlock Islands and Northwest Islands respectively). With additional proposed trainings to begin in April and May 2019, and more on-going training and support for the foreseeable future, the NDOE is expecting more schools will migrate to using the FedSIS.

    “It’s based on OpenSIS, a free open source software,” said Weison Weital, Management Information Specialist at NDOE. “It’s been customized to [FSM’s] needs, and some efforts are in turn released to the community.” Mr. Weital discussed how there is a five-year Master Plan for improving data management at NDOE, and 2019 is the second year of the plan. “We’re [intending] that by the end of the five year plan to have all urban schools on main islands with internet connections using it.”

    Mr. Weital also explained that there are also efforts to support remote schools using stand-alone mini education servers running FedSIS and other educational resources, though this is more challenging.

    It is hoped that as more schools use FedSIS and know how it works, in turn more schools will become interested—and that will increase the network of teachers and principals who understand the tool and can train others.

    Data from the school-centered FedSIS, in addition to other data management tools, feed into the aggregate database called Federated States of Micronesia Education Management Information System (FedEMIS). Whereas an individual school can use FedSIS for data collection and analysis in their own community, FedEMIS can be used by schools and the SDOEs for comparing/contrasting FSM School Accreditation data, enrollment data, National Minimum Competency Test (NMCT) data, and more. This aggregate FSM-wide data is compiled into annual Data Digest reports, the first of which is available here: http://national.doe.fm/PublicDocuments/Education%20Digest/Education_Digest_v1_15Oct2018.pdf

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