The Ministry Fisheries and Marine Resources has taken delivery of a Video Conference equipment and Compliance Assets donated by the Forum Fisheries Agency on 26th October.
Fisheries Minister Hon Nestor Giro received the donated assets on behalf of the Ministry from the Director General of the Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), Dr Manu Tupou.
Speaking before the handover ceremony, Hon Giro thanked Dr Manu and staff of FFA for the video conference equipment, cameras and their accessories.
He acknowledged FFA’s continuous technical support to the Ministry of Fisheries saying the Video Conference Equipment, cameras and their accessories are very useful assets to enhance the Ministry’s work.
Hon Giro said the demand for virtual meetings continue to rise since the introduction of this platform in early 2020 due to the restricted travels as a result of the Covid19 pandemic.
“I wish to assure you that this will further strengthen our participation in future national, regional and international meetings,” he said.
The minister revealed that given the new norm and popularity of using virtual platforms for meetings, the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement through the Office of Prime Minister and Cabinet has developed a National Engagement Virtual Policy that will guide the Solomon Islands Government including the Ministry of Fisheries when using virtual platform for its meetings.
He said this policy’s objective is to ensure public servants and provincial government staff are able to attend to national, international and regional meetings using virtual platforms.
“For MFMR, being able to connect with our Noro office is very important, therefore this video conference equipment will boost MFMR’s preparation to implement this policy,” he adds.
The Fisheries Minister also thanked FFA for the cameras adding it will boost MFMR’s Monitoring Control and Surveillance efforts to fight against IUU fishing in Solomon Islands.
“These are very important assets that will capture evidence for our Compliance Officers during boarding and inspections of fishing vessels,” he said.
Other areas the FFA has supported the Ministry of Fisheries with included; the Noro e-port project, Prosecution training for compliance officers, Niue Treaty Subsidiary, drafting of National Crewing Policy, completion of Tuna Management Plan and Drafting of MCS Strategy.
FFA Director General Dr Manu in her response said she hoped that the video conferencing equipment could be of some value to the Ministry of Fisheries during this period of virtual meeting.
She told the Fisheries Minister that the FFA Secretariat recognised the special relationship it has with the Government of Solomon Islands.
“We are humble to continue to serve you and all of our members through the work at the secretariat,” she said.
She spoke highly of the collaboration with the Ministry of Fisheries saying FFA has only been successful for more than 40 years because of that collaboration with its member countries.
“We are always grateful for that and we look forward to that continued close work for many years to come,” Dr Manu said.