Pacific Islands Forum Leaders established the Forum Fisheries Agency on 09 August 1979, to build national capacity and regional cooperation so Pacific nations can secure their economic aspirations and sustainability of the Pacific tuna fishery.

Last week at a special reporting Tuna fisheries workshop in Kokopo, Papua New Guinea, FFA’s Deputy Director General Dr Pio Manoa joined for the closing formalities as his FFA Market Access Specialist Jope Tamani closed off on three days of media engagement alongside Papua New Guinea National Fisheries Authority (NFA) Communications Lead Carolyn Ive, Media trainer Neville Choi, INFO Fish Lead Dr Nawin Rajah, and PIF Public Affairs Adviser Lisa Williams-Lahari.

The team were part of sessions with mainstream media across Papua New Guinea, ahead of a Pacific Fisheries Ministerial and the 8th Pacific Tuna Forum. In a quick soundbite with us, he shared his thoughts on the strategic focus and key issues for media following the PNG tuna story.

Q – You’ve seen and heard the presenters and journalists unpacking the PNG and regional milestones to reporting tuna this week. What are your impressions of this media partnership?

PM – The objective of the event is to raise awareness and understanding of key fisheries issues facing the country and the region, and the objective for the organizers is also to ensure that we can provide the necessary tools and information to journalists to write stories on fisheries matters that haven’t been reported before.

Examples include the potential to write on stories on market access, and the innovations that Papua New Guinea is leading on, in terms of market access, accessing foreign markets, with the products developed, produced locally.

There are also useful opportunities to write stories on the innovations that Papua New Guinea is leading on such as technology innovations. One example that the participants looked at in detail was the Fisheries Information Management system that Papua New Guinea continues to lead on and improve. And this information management system helps ensure the National Fisheries authority a popular Guinea to have a near real-time package of information on what is happening in the fishery. As fisheries managers, this is critical, and this is just an example of the leadership that Papa New Guinea is playing on that front.

There are also other opportunities to write on, including how Papua New Guinea continues to lead in the monitoring, control, and surveillance of the fishery, as well as the cases that Papua New Guinea continues to lead on. And decisions in this jurisdiction on fisheries case law is quite progressive. These are examples of stories that Papua New Guinea media can write on and share with the rest of the country as well as the region because it helps upgrade, and enhance the types of stories on fisheries, that the region can benefit immensely.

The Pacific Islands Forum alongside the Forum Fisheries Agency and the Pacific Community has been a support partner to an innovative regional Tuna Forum event led by the PNG National Fisheries Authority and Malaysia-based INFOFISH. The Pacific Tuna Forum seeks to convene and showcase a joint platform for all things tuna –whether it be policy, industry, marketing and trade, oceanic fisheries expertise, research, and development. In 2023, PIF is back to support the 8th PTF in PNG from September 5-7th through presentations at pre-conference media training, a Pacific Fisheries Ministerial meeting in East New Britain, and a session keynote from Secretary General Henry Puna.