Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, and Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries, Senator the Hon Jonathon Duniam, congratulate the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) on 40 years of building cooperation, capacity and security in Pacific fisheries for its 17 member nations.
Pacific fisheries are vital to the region's food security, long-term economic growth and way of life. Through our ten year Partnership Arrangement with the FFA, Australia is working closely with the region to strengthen our fisheries management, development and security cooperation.
As signatories to the Boe Declaration on Regional Security and the Kainaki II Declaration, Australia and our Pacific partners collectively share the responsibility to sustainably manage the Pacific Ocean and its resources.
Minister Payne said, "Securing the future of the 'Blue Pacific' requires strong regional cooperation and collaboration through action on sustainable management of fish stocks, reducing ocean plastics, and protecting coral reefs and biodiversity.
"One of our highest priorities to ensure the security of our region is in combatting illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, a key regional and global threat to the development of a sustainable ocean economy," said Minister Payne.
Assistant Minister Duniam said Australia's strong cooperative relationship with the FFA has been instrumental in helping to grow the sector and create jobs.
"The Morrison Government is committed to working closely with our neighbours so that all can benefit from growing our fisheries industries, and our involvement with the FFA has been an important part of that," Senator Duniam said.
"The FFA is the world's best example of multilateral fisheries collaboration and has facilitated regional cooperation since 1979. Since becoming the Assistant Minister for Fisheries, I have seen first-hand the benefits of our involvement with the FFA.
"We want to see industry sustaining direct jobs in the region while contributing to food security and generating economic returns, and we will continue to lead this work with our FFA friends and colleagues to the benefit of all."
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