Tonga's Fisheries' CEO Dr Halafihi (right) sharing with a delegate at the meeting in Australia. Photo: FFA MEDIA
NADI, Fiji-May 9: 9.24am (Nuku’alofa Times/FFA Media): Tonga fisheries has been undergoing major changes following its 2015 transition from being tagged under one ministry with the Agriculture, Food and Forestry portfolios, to a stand-alone Ministry under Minister Semisi Fakahau.
For the Ministry’s new Chief Executive Officer Dr Tuikolongahau Halafihi, said the renewed focus on Fisheries resources as a national priority has helped.
Delegates at the Australia meeting. Photo: FFA MEDIA

Delegates at the Australia meeting. Photo: FFA MEDIA

“Exports has already started to see rewards from this new focus. Exports were up 73% to 1,743 tonnes; with a 54% increase in the value of fish exported, to over $10 million. We are increasing the availability of fish on our local markets by requiring all by-catch from our foreign licensed vessels to be landed for sale in Tonga,” he said in Australia yesterday.

Noting new challenges mainly in the coastal fisheries sector, Dr Halafihi told #FFC102 delegates during the opening round of country statements that the Ministry’s new structure covering Fisheries Management and Development, Fisheries Science, Fisheries Compliance, and Corporate Services will also be energised by a new corporate plan.

Commercial fisheries and aquaculture are emerging sectors facing challenges, but a way forward is aimed at ensuring Tonga has fish for its future needs.

Dr Halafihi says a major emerging challenge for the Ministry of Fisheries has been the Government’s approval of the Tonga Fisheries Sector Plan, developed with the assistance of the World Bank.

The plan includes a list of 100 action items, representing the biggest range of fisheries reforms in #Tonga for over 20 years.

#FoFRoadmap #Ourfishourfuture

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