A visit by Executive Officers of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) to the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) Headquarters Tuesday this week has highlighted the commitment to continuous cooperation between the two organisations, especially during this period of the COVID-19 pandemic and into the future.
During a meeting with the FFA Director General, Dr Manumatavai Tupou-Roosen, the RSIPF officials led by Acting Deputy Commissioner National Security & Operation Support, Ian Vaevaso were congratulated for their hard work during this challenging time. Dr Tupou-Roosen also briefed them on FFA’s work and opportunities for further collaboration.
With the cooperative work with FFA in ensuring the sustainable management of tuna fisheries in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean (WCPO), Dr Tupou-Roosen acknowledged the support from the RSIPF towards its surveillance operations – with the recent Operation Island Chief 2020 (OPIC20) being a fine example.
“We sincerely thank the leadership of RSIPF for their visit and the constructive discussions. We identified some key areas where we can enhance our collaboration including in the area of combatting IUU fishing, and we look forward to implementing these,” the Director General said.
The RSIPF officials also visited the Regional Fisheries Surveillance Centre (RFSC) to see first-hand what the FFA is actually doing in supporting member countries to combat Illegal, Unreported, Unregulated (IUU) fishing, the strong linkage of this work to maritime security and the current COVID-19 support of vessel contact tracing.
At the Surveillance Centre, the FFA Director of Fisheries Operations, Allan Rahari, and FFA RFSC staff gave a brief overview of the roles and functions of the Centre, the planning, conduct and coordination of regional fisheries surveillance operations including the recent Operation Islands Chief (OPIC20), and Covid-19 response, support and assistance to members. Mr Rahari also thanked the RSIPF for staff support during OPIC20 and hoping to see more local Police Officers engaged in future operations.
For some of the RSIPF officials, this was their first ever visit to the FFA headquarter and the RFSC and Acting Deputy Commissioner National Security & Operation Support Mr Ian Vaevaso said “it is a privilege for us to see and hear first-hand information on the work that FFA does and the support the Centre provides to FFA members.”
Mr Vaevaso added that cooperation is what the RSIPF always long for and that is the way forward. “We look forward to working closely with FFA in terms of information and intelligence sharing especially on areas of Maritime security and fisheries enforcement,” he said.