- Advising the Minister, Cabinet and Parliament on fishery policy issues and high-level developments within the sector;
- Negotiating fishery access agreements with distant water fishing nations, associations, fleets and companies;
- Economic analysis of fishery development and management options;
- Ensuring consistency between fishery revenue information held by the TFD and the Treasury Department of MFED;
- Promoting and managing fishery joint ventures and other commercial activities in which the Government of Tuvalu has an interest, including the restructure of NAFICOT;
- Ongoing review of Tuvalu’s fishery legislation to ensure it remains compliant with international treaties to which Tuvalu is a party;
- Assisting the Attorney-General’s Office and other relevant government departments in regard to incidents of non-compliance with Tuvalu’s fishery laws;
- Providing access to information on Tuvalu fisheries, including through the development and maintenance of a Fisheries Department library and website;
- Production of public information materials on the work of the Department, and the Tuvalu fisheries sector in general;
- Representing Tuvalu at high-level fishery discussions and negotiations;
- Managing and keeping records of departmental expenditure, travel, training and personnel issues.
One of the milestones for 2018 is to ensure that all Fisheries staff and stakeholders understand and comply with the changes made in the Marine Resource Act Amendment 2017. Therefore awareness programs will be carried out this year to upgrade the capacity of staff.
It was initially expected that Tuvalu would commence implementation of the longline vessel-day scheme (LL-VDS) in 2018. However in late 2017 a decision was made to postpone LL-VDS implementation until 2019 to allow time for additional research on historical patterns of longline fishing activity in Tuvalu waters. This additional research is deemed necessary in order to allow proper price-setting and packaging of longline vessel-days.
Other major objectives which will be commenced this year are:
- Investigating options for the possible conversion of the Fisheries Department to non-commercial statutory authority, so that it can function more effectively as a revenue-generation agency without the inefficiencies and constraints imposed by public service rules and regulations; and
- Establishment of a fishery product food safety competent authority, so that fishery products caught in Tuvalu waters, or by Tuvalu vessels fishing elsewhere, can be sold into higher-value markets that are currently not available to us.