Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems

Identifying Cook Islands’ priorities for DevFish2 support

jonathan_cooks2The second phase of the DevFish project has been introduced to about 20 members of the Cook Islands National Fishing Association. On the request of the Ministry of Marine Resources (MMR), Jonathan Manieva, Secretariat of the Pacific Community DevFish (Development of Tuna Fisheries in the Pacific ACP Countries Project) Officer, facilitated the association’s meeting on 22 to 25 November.


Mr Manieva presented the work done during the first phase of the DevFish project, funded by the European Union and implemented by the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) and the Secretariat of Pacific Community (SPC).



He highlighted the area of focus: supporting the fishing industry and fishing associations, especially facilitating their initial establishment and strengthening their effectiveness. He made observations on lessons learnt (fishing associations’ challenges and benefits), explaining why it is appropriate to have an association like the Cook Islands National Fishing Association.


He stressed the success of the support provided to the industry association by the DevFish-funded Officer: during the first phase of DevFish, this project assistance was noted as a model to expand in the region. The support enables a national association to have a full-time staff member to serve the collective affairs and interests of the association. Traditionally, association executives serve on a voluntary basis and seldom dedicate their time to association work. Unfortunately, many associations typically have small membership and lack the resources to hire staff. Mr Manieva noted that this kind of support is still available under the 2nd phase of DevFish (DevFish2).


The representatives of fishing associations and fishing clubs (including charter clubs) made brief presentations and pointed out their priority needs with regard to future development. They recommended that DevFish2 support them in funding the support staff position as an immediate priority.


During the week, they developed the following list of priority needs:

  1. construction and maintenance of fish aggregating devices
  2. sea safety gear, and training on their usage
  3. increased supply of bait and fishing gear (hooks, fishing line, lures and nets)
  4. formal incorporation of member associations/clubs
  5. training in post-harvest fish handling and treatment
  6. development of marketing arrangement (transportation mode) of fresh fish and processed products
  7. replacement of aged outboard motors of clubs/associations
  8. ice-making facilities
  9. leading lights at wharves/jetties
  10. subsidies to offset fuel costs
  11. reviving processing and storage facilities on outer islands
  12. ice bags and chilly bins


These will guide the association in formulating its development plan and pursuing support. Concerning the option of DevFish2 establishing a support officer for the association, the fishing enterprises agreed that this assistance should begin as soon as possible. The support officer, once in place, should coordinate and assist with administrative arrangements and undertake the development of strategies from the list of priority needs identified, with guidance of the association executives.


SPC/DevFish is liaising with the association’s President and the MMR Secretary, with the aim of advertising the position in early January 2011.






For more information, please:

-          contact Jonathan Manieva, SPC/DevFish Officer

-          see the Island Business article ‘Promoting private sector fishing interests – The importance of national associations’


Last Updated on Thursday, 19 May 2011 16:17