Today we reinforce Australia’s commitment to supporting Pacific fisheries, which are a key economic driver throughout the region.
At the annual Forum Fisheries Committee meeting in the Cook Islands, Senator Ruston signed a new 10-year Partnership Arrangement on behalf of Australia with the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA). This arrangement builds on our enduring partnership with the region to maximise the economic benefits for Pacific island countries from their natural resources.
Australia works closely with the FFA to support Pacific island countries in fisheries management and development. We also help combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
In 2016, the Pacific’s tuna fisheries were valued at around USD$2.6 billion, earning close to USD$500 million in access fees for Pacific island countries and providing 25,000 jobs. Sustainable fisheries offer one of the best opportunities to promote trade, strengthen government revenue and promote future food security for the poor.
The Partnership between Australia and the FFA will be underpinned by a $20 million investment which will provide FFA with the flexibility to mobilise additional resources and meet the needs of its members. There will also be extensive practical support through aerial surveillance and other related initiatives.
Australia has worked closely with the FFA over many decades. This arrangement underlines our shared commitment to regional fisheries, monitoring and development engagement.