Tokelau lends a hand at NTSA ratification by Tuvalu

Apia, 3 September 2013
Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga signed the ratification papers of the Niue Treaty Subsidiary Agreement (NTSA) in the Tokelau-SIDS Engagement room in Apia today. The NTSA is aimed at sharing information, data and resources to support maritime and fisheries surveillance against Illegal Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing across the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) of the member countries of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA).

As current Chair of the Forum Fisheries Committee, the Ulu o Tokelau had offered the facilities in the SNPF plaza, Apia, as the venue for this historic ratification during SIDS week. The FFA Director-General James Movick received the Tuvalu-signed NTSA instruments of ratification there. Other witnesses were the 2013 FFC Chair, Minister Alfred Ghiro from Solomon Islands; and the 2015 Chair, Minister Elisaia Pita from Tuvalu.

The Niue Treaty Subsidiary Agreement provides a legal framework for countries to share resources, exchange fisheries data and intelligence and improve their efficiency when it comes to monitoring fishing vessels in Pacific waters.
Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga signs the ratification papers for the Niue Treaty Subsidiary Agreement, as FFA Director-General James Movick looks on (and the Ulu has a hand in it).
Tuvalu’s ratification will bring the number of ratifications to six: Palau, Cook Islands, Samoa, Nauru, and Vanuatu have already ratified the NTSA and it is in now in force there.

All countries who have ratified can now enter into cooperative fisheries MCS initiatives /operations. In a region already crowded with development treaties, the NTSA multilateral process is quite special in promoting partnerships and regionalism. As envisaged by the leaders and fisheries Ministers, the agreement provides another useful tool for cooperation in fisheries monitoring, control and surveillance enforcement; and for cooperation in broader law enforcement.

The agreement provides the parties with a refined legal framework to strengthen their cooperative efforts based on their needs and resources. The underlying goal envisaged by the Leaders, is to ensure sustainable management of the regions tuna fisheries, and therefore favorable economic returns to the Pacific from this resource. (Source: FFA)
Seated  (Left to right) the Ulu o Tokelau, Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga and FFA Director-General James Movick, with other witnesses and the legal team behind them.
Presided over by Tokelau's Director of Environment, Natural Resources and Environment, Mika Perez (rightmost), the distinguished participants are: FFA Director-General, James Movick: Tuvalu Prime Minister, Enele Sopoaga; the Ulu o Tokelau, Aliki Faipule Kuresa Nasau; Minister Elisaia Pita from Tuvalu; and Minister Alfred Ghiro, from Solomon Islands (leftmost).