The Forum Fisheries Council (FCC) agreed on a new distribution formula for funding from the US Tuna Treaty to flow to member countries beginning in 2024. This took place at the Second Ministerial meeting at Kokopo, East New Britain, Papua New Guinea, on September 5, 2023.
This follows two previous Ministerial meetings in July and August, where member parties did not agree upon a formula. The lack of consensus at previous meetings on a formula centered around PNA members’ view of the need to ensure the Treaty continued to be viewed as a fisheries treaty where the majority of the funds are allocated toward fishing activity rather than the majority to be distributed as economic assistance.
Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Fiji agreed for their equal share to be distributed to Niue, Samoa, Vanuatu, and Tonga, allowing for the final agreement on the distribution formula, where the majority of the funding was allocated toward fishing activities.
Following the FFC meeting, Palau Minister Steven Victor and Director General Manu Tupou Roosen of Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) signed the Country Partnership Agreement (CPA) along with FFC Chair, Minister John Silk of the Marshall Island witnessing the signing.
The Country Partnership Agreement (CPA) is a framework that is established through a consultative process with FFA members that defines key priority areas for FFA to support member countries. According to Minister Victor, the priorities for Palau’s support from FFA will include sound policies that enable Palau’s Fisheries Vision, Strengthening Palau’s Fisheries Monitoring, Control, and Surveillance, Strategic Interventions to Support Domestic Fisheries Development, Integration of Harvest Strategies into National Policies and Legislations, and Institutional Strengthening and Capacity Development.