Fish Talk: FSM NORMA holds Planning Workshop on Fisheries Multimillion Dollar Project

On February 24 to 25,2016, the FSM National Oceanic Resource Management Authority (NORMA) collaborated with other key FSM Government Departments to outline detailed activities for the next year and half that will be funded under the World Bank supported Pacific Regional Oceanscape Programme (PROP). The two-day workshop was held at the Cliff Rainbow Hotel in Pohnpei, FSM.
Close to two million dollars are planned for two years’ activities targeting the following results that will address both oceanic and coastal fisheries management:
a) Strengthened fisheries enforcement through additional sea and aerial patrols by the FSM Department of Justice and training opportunities for enforcement officers/officials.
b) Enhanced safety of seafood exports through establishment and strengthening of a seafood hygiene competent authority at the FSM Department of Health & Social Affairs.
c) Capacitated cadre of fisheries observers and enforcement officers trained and equipped with state of the art safety and communications equipment for monitoring tuna fishery.
d) Updated oceanic fisheries information management system and vessel monitoring system through additional upgrades in software and hardware.
e) Strengthened fisheries management through capacity building of NORMA systems, institution and staff including enhanced capacity to negotiate and manage the vessel day scheme.
f) Assessed coastal fisheries that will be viable for further development in partnership with local communities in the four FSM States.
“This is only the beginning of the 5-year PROP project and we anticipate challenges in implementation given complexity of involving several government departments and various issues involving fisheries, but we have a good team working on this and a working group has been set up to closely monitor and advice on the project. The project is also designed to pull in support from our regional partners, particularly the Forum Fisheries Agency and PNA Office.” Says Mr. Eugene Pangelinan, NORMA Executive Director. “FSM is strategically positioned in the tuna fishery and this project is an opportunity to position us to take advantage of that and realize the potential benefits which, I believe much of, is still yet to be realized.”
Participating in the planning workshop were representatives of the FSM Department of Resources & Development, FSM Department of Health & Social Affairs, FSM Department of Justice, FSM Department of Finance & Administration, and NORMA. The Forum Fisheries Agency was also represented to assist particularly with the Information Management Systems planning.
Such a project planning exercise will be an annual event over the next few years and will require the input of the key Government departments as they will be leading project implementation per the agreed plans.
The PROP Project is a six-year project funded with a Grant from the World Bank International Development Association that covers oceanic and coastal fisheries. NORMA oversees the oceanic fisheries component of the project. Pacific countries participating in the PROP are Marshall Islands, Tuvalu and Solomon Islands. Other Pacific countries are expected to join the Program over the next few years.