In 2020 will see some strengthening of the Department’s staffing, reflecting the growing importance and complexity of systems for the oceanic fishery, as well as the growth of the observer programme and transhipment monitoring. We also recognise the need to provide more support for small-scale fisheries management and development. Our 2 inter-island vessels (Tala Moana and Manaui) have increased the workload of the Operations & Development Section. The new structure shown above will be implemented, for the most part, in 2020. Further changes will be needed in subsequent years as the work programme develops in areas such as coastal fisheries management, compliance and enforcement, laboratory services, mariculture, and support for fish marketing from the outer islands. Pay grades may also need to be reviewed to reflect additional responsibilities and for greater consistency.
The Department comprises four sections, with different areas of responsibility:
- The Administration Section, which is led by the Director, includes the Deputy Director, Legal Officer, Economist, Information Officer and IT Manager, as well as administrative staff. The group is responsible for fisheries access agreements, fisheries policy including regional initiatives, management of development projects, as well as planning and administration of the Division.
- The Oceanic Fisheries Section, led by a Principal Fisheries Officer (PFO), is responsible for Monitoring, Control and Surveillance of the tuna fishery. Main work areas include vessel licensing, reporting and data collection, VMS and VDS monitoring, coordinating aerial surveillance and patrol boat operations, transhipment monitoring and the observer programme.
- The Coastal Fisheries Division, also led by a PFO, is responsible for inshore fisheries resource assessment and management, as well as monitoring of the marine environment. The Division works closely with the Kaupules and other stakeholders in the community. Three teams, each led by a Senior Fisheries Officer, are responsible for work: in Funafuti; the outer islands; and on resource monitoring and assessment (including aquaculture).
- The Operation and Development Division is responsible for the operation of the Department’s two vessels – Manaui and Tala Moana – including managing charters. The Division also has responsibility for the FAD programme, promoting sea safety, and training in fishing and fish processing. The development of boatbuilding and the new offshore fishing project will be led by this Division, working closely with local fishermen and their associations.