FFA and USP launch new Fisheries Diploma Course to strengthen fight against illegal fishing

FFA Training
Feature Image caption
Participants of the training from Fiji Fisheries and Fiji Navy conducting an inspection of vessel reports.
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Honiara, Solomon Islands – The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) has taken a significant leap in its commitment to combat illegal fishing in the Pacific, teaming up with the University of South Pacific (USP) to develop a new fisheries programme dedicated toward fisheries investigation and legal enforcement in the Pacific region.

This programme, the Diploma of Fisheries Investigation and Prosecution, marks a key milestone in Pacific fisheries education and was officially inaugurated at the FFA headquarters in Honiara last week.

The five courses were developed by the combined efforts of FFA, the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industry (MPI), International MCS Network and the Pacific Community (SPC).

The Diploma of Fisheries Investigation and Prosecution was funded by the European Union and the Government of Sweden through the Pacific-European Union Marine Partnership (PEUMP) Programme.

FFA Director General Dr Manu Tupou-Roosen emphasized the program's significance at the launch.

"The launch of this programme is a momentous occasion, marking a new era in fisheries management and law enforcement in the Pacific. I am excited and inspired by the dedication of our students and the collaboration that has made this programme possible” FFA DG said.

The inaugural cohort includes 17 students from FFA member countries. They have been undergoing studies online through USP Pacific TAFE for the past 11 months and were present in Honiara for the launch.

Nterei Bakoa, a fisheries officer from Kiribati, spoke about the programme's impact on her home.

“My people, they depend a hundred percent on marine resources as their livelihood and income resource for their welfare. The Ministry of Fisheries is a top priority Ministry in Kiribati as it supports and fulfils the Government’s needs. For that reason, these talents that I achieve from this course I will utilize to support my Ministry in fighting against IUU Illegal, Unregulated, Unreported (IUU) fishing in our waters in order to sustain, protect and conserve our marine resources,” Nterei shared.

Accredited by USP, the programme is designed to address the specific challenges faced by Pacific Island nations. Upon completion, students will receive a diploma qualification from USP, equipping them for compliance or law enforcement roles within the fisheries sector.

Covering key areas such as investigative techniques, legal processes, and case file development, this programme is poised to have a significant impact as the first cohort nears graduation, enhancing the safeguarding of the Pacific's maritime resources.



Media Contacts:

Samantha Mattila FFA Strategic Communications Manager | email: [email protected]

Ernest Ta'asi FFA Strategic Communications Officer | email: ernest.ta’[email protected]

About Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA)

FFA assists its 17-member countries to sustainably manage fishery resources that fall within their 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs). FFA provides expertise, technical assistance and other support to its members who make decisions about their tuna resources and participate in regional decision making on tuna management.  Find out more here:

About the Pacific-European Marine Partnership (PEUMP) Programme

The PEUMP programme focuses on equitable benefits for all Pacific countries, whilst recognising the diversity of resources, needs and opportunities amongst its 15 Pacific countries of work - the Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, Tonga, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste and Vanuatu. Find out more here:

About the University of South Pacific

The University of the South Pacific (USP) is the premier institution of higher learning for the Pacific, uniquely placed in a region of extraordinary physical, social and economic diversity and challenges to serve the region’s need for high quality tertiary education, research and policy.  Apart from being a tertiary institution, it also serves as an organisation of regional cooperation and integration. Find out more here:


The Pacific-European Union Marine Partnership (PEUMP) Programme addresses some of the most serious challenges faced by the region. Among these are the increasing depletion of coastal fisheries resources; the threats to marine biodiversity, including negative impacts of climate change and natural disasters; the uneven contribution of oceanic fisheries to national economic development; the need for improved education and training in the fisheries sector; and the need to mainstream a rights-based approach and to promote greater recognition of gender issues within the sector. 

This seven-year programme is funded by the European Union (EUR 35 million) and the government of Sweden (EUR 10 million). The programme provides direct assistance to regional organisations to support regional and national level activities in the Pacific.


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