By Gary Hatigeva
REPRESENTATIVES from the African and Indian Ocean who are currently here in Honiara for a learning exchange programme on the fisheries sector have acknowledged and praised the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) for continuously promoting and working on the improvement of the South-South Cooperation in the development aspect of the global fishing industry.
Based on collective response and individual interviews conducted, all have shared similar sentiments based on the positive impacts the skills and knowledge sharing initiative has for them, which comes as part of the learning exchange program currently taking place in Honiara.
This is just an ongoing fulfilment of the south-south cooperation and initiatives extracted especially from the FFA one is also very vital for most participants in the development of policies and frameworks for their nations, which would have positive impact on national agencies and regional fisheries as far as managing marine resources, particularly tuna resources in their respective countries is concerned.
They further acknowledged FFA for the opportunity with the vision to continue improving and promoting the South-South cooperation, which they felt has given them the chance to be part of what they also see will help their countries to sustainably manage our marine resources right around the world.
For many of the participating regions, similar set ups to the FFA have been worked with the establishment of regional registries and proper guidelines to properly manage the interactions between their people and their resources, and the benefits that will come with.
It is through this South-south Cooperation that participating members have also stepped up their monitoring systems and nations in the West African region have already began putting in place Regional VMS, which have now enabled them to monitor their waters properly, something they feel has also been working out very well for the Pacific Island Nations.
The South-south cooperation has so far bridged the gap in lack of capacities some of the Asian and African countries face while dealing with developmental problems by sharing interests in the fisheries industry and this initiative has had economic impacts on ordinary but vulnerable fishermen in nations across India and Africa.