Tuvalu is situated in the South Pacific Ocean between latitudes 5 and 9 degrees South and longitudes 176 and 179 degrees East, encompassing an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 900,000 km2 and a land area of 26 km2. The islands of Tuvalu, all low lying atolls, are home to around 11,000 persons with over half the population living in the capital, Funafuti.
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 are indicated in the second TFD Corporate Plan (CP2):
- Tuvalu’s national rights and interests are secured and protected within the regional purse seine and longline Vessel Day Schemes (VDS), whose integrity and development have been promoted by Tuvalu through cooperation with other participating coastal States.
- Fisheries revenue to Tuvalu are maintained and further improved through the optimum allocation and pricing of Tuvalu’s Vessel Days and associated purse seine and longline licenses.
- At sea employment for Tuvalu citizens (fishing vessel crew and fishery observers) has been increased significantly above present levels through the provision of appropriately trained personnel and the fullest application of local crewing licensing conditions.
- Tuvalu is fully compliant with the requirements of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) and other international fishery treaties to which it is a party.
- Tuvalu meets the requirements of overseas market states in regard to illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing and fishery product food safety.
- Fishery surface patrols, aerial surveillance, observer coverage and other mechanisms are deterring and detecting IUU fishing activities, which are being effectively penalized through the Tuvalu legal system.
- New fishery joint ventures have been negotiated between the Government of Tuvalu (GoT) and selected commercial fishing interests that provide increased employment for Tuvaluans and additional revenue streams to the GoT while minimizing investment costs and risks.
- The National Fisheries Corporation of Tuvalu (NAFICOT) has been reformed to comply with the provisions of the Public Enterprises (Performance and Accountability) Act 2009 and acts as a vehicle for the GoT’s commercial fishery interests.
- The relationship between the TFD and Kaupule / Falekaupule has been transformed such that Kaupule regulate local food fisheries supplying local needs, and the Department provides support in the form of data collection and analysis, and fisheries management advice.
- Fish Aggregation Devices (FADs) are available to fishers throughout Tuvalu and provide increased food security, higher financial returns, improved sea safety, and reduced fishing pressure on inshore resources.
- Small-scale fisheries increasingly target a more diverse range of ocean resources in order to reduce fishing pressure on coastal species.
- The safety of small-scale fishers has been improved through the installation of VHF radio equipment and the development of systems to respond to emergencies.
- The TFD has reliable information on coastal fishery resources in each island on which to base the management advice it provides to Kaupule.
- Conservation areas, by-laws and other fishery management arrangements have been established in those coastal fisheries where this is a high priority.
- Management plans for beche-de-mer, shark and other sensitive species are in place, if necessary through designation of these fisheries for management by the TFD under the MRA.
- Improved office space, IT and internet facilities and other support arrangements have been established to allow improved delivery of TFD functions.
- Appropriate TFD training and human resource management arrangements, including succession planning, have been implemented to support the optimum performance of the Department.
- Continued fine tuning of the TFD’s organisational structure, recurrent budget and donor support has taken place to ensure that the available human and other resources correspond to the Department’s evolving needs.
- Stakeholders and the general public are aware of TFD activities that affect them, and participate in them in a supportive way
- Fisheries Department staff members and co-workers are able to access the information and knowledge needed for them to carry out their functions effectively.