Tuvalu is a small atoll state located in the Central Pacific with a population of 11,000 people, total land area of 26 square km, and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of a million square km. With an average annual fish consumption of 150 kg per person per year (one of the highest in the world) and 46% of the country’s GDP from fisheries revenues, fisheries are of central importance.
The guiding vision of the Tuvalu Fisheries Department is to promote:
- Bountiful inshore fisheries supporting livelihoods and providing healthy local food
- Sustainable oceanic fisheries providing strong revenue and satisfying jobs
The physical and economic health of the Tuvalu population depends upon the health of its inshore and oceanic fisheries. While inshore fisheries can be managed wholly within the country, oceanic fisheries are part of a larger ecosystem and need to be managed through regional and sub-regional co-operation.
Our Mission is to maximise social and economic returns to the people of Tuvalu through the sustainable management and wise use of Tuvalu’s living marine resources.
On behalf of the people of Tuvalu, the Government, through its Fisheries Department, acts as a responsible custodian of oceanic or designated inshore fishery resources and fisheries rights so that they generate national revenues and sustainable employment opportunities. The Department also supports Kaupule (Island Council) and Falekaupule (Traditional Leaders) to manage inshore fisheries to support livelihoods and provide local food security.
The primary objectives of the Department, as stated in our Corporate Plan approved by Cabinet in September 2013, are as follows:
- Transform the existing relationship between the Fisheries Department and Kaupule and Falekaupule to one where the Kaupule regulates local food fisheries used by local people to supply local needs and the Department provides support as requested in the form of data analysis services and fisheries management advice.
- ‘Designate’ inshore fisheries unsuitable for management by Kaupule/ Fale Kaupule (including all beche de mer species) for management by the Fisheries Department under Fisheries Management Plans. Develop and implement Management Plans prior to future commercialisation of those fisheries.
- Secure and protect national rights for Tuvalu within the regional purse seine and longline Vessel Day Schemes and promote the integrity and development of those schemes through co-operation with other participating coastal States.
- Improve fisheries revenues to Tuvalu through the optimum allocation and pricing of Tuvalu’s Vessel Days and associated purse seine and longline licences.
- Increase ‘at sea’ employment for Tuvalu citizens as fishing crew and observers through the provision of appropriately trained personnel and the fullest application of local crewing licensing conditions.
- Implement the new Departmental organisational structure and associated resourcing as outlined in this Corporate Plan.
- Implement the Human Resource Development Plan prepared as an adjunct of this Corporate Plan and which has been designed to support the optimum performance of the new organisational structure proposed for the Fisheries Department.
- Restructure NAFICOT so that it can fully comply with the provisions of the Public Enterprises (Performance and Accountability) Act 2009.