SPC – AwF sign Services Agreement

SPC strengthens aquaculture private sector in the Pacific during COVID 19 pandemic

Nouméa, New Calédonia – A Special Service Agreement has been signed this month between the Pacific Community (SPC) and Aquaculture Without Frontiers (AwF) which will engage AwF in providing business mentoring assistance to selected enterprises in overcoming business and technical constraints in their business operations. This is under the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (NZMFAT) funded Sustainable Pacific Aquaculture Development Project (PacAqua) which aims to improve food security and increase economic growth.  

The PacAqua project is currently supporting  15 enterprises, comprising 14 private sector enterprises and one farmers’ association spread across eight countries (Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Federated Stages of Micronesia, Republic of Marshall Islands, and Tonga) and two territories (French Polynesia and New Caledonia) and aims to reach at least 19 enterprises  by 2021. The project also supports six farmer clusters in Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

“As aquaculture is successful when run as a business or set on a business-like footing, especially during this COVID 19 pandemic, SPC focused on enhancing local business acumen among private sector operators,” said Robert Jimmy, the SPC Aquaculture Adviser. “As aquaculture is an important and expanding food-producing sector, the Pacific needs to improve food and nutrition security,” he added.

The PacAqua project is also improving the uptake of improved aquaculture practices by strengthening government and farmer capacity in seed, feed and broodstock management. It is working with women aquaculture entrepreneurs, such as in Fiji, and women farmer cluster groups in countries such as Papua New Guinea.  Women participate extensively in aquaculture, but are often excluded from the transfer of technology, decision making and large-scale production (except as processors).

Katherine Hawes, Chair, AwF (Australia) Ltd, said, “We are delighted that Aquaculture without Frontiers has signed a Special Service Agreement with The Pacific Community (SPC).  During these difficult times our volunteers (business and technical advisors and mentors) will be aiming to add value and innovation to assist specific needs of PacAqua Enterprises and Cluster Farmers in Pacific Island Countries and Territories. Hopefully, this will be the beginning of a long association, that will be of special benefit for aquaculture in the SPC region and we sincerely thank the management of the NZMFAT Pacific Aquaculture Development Project for enabling this opportunity. We look forward to sharing the expertise and knowledge of our specialist volunteers and helping to build and improve the aquaculture activities that offer important business, food security and nutritional prospects in the region.” 

Through collaboration with partner agencies such as the NZ government, implementing countries and private sector partners, and engagement of new partnerships such as AwF, SPC aims to contribute to aquaculture being more productive and economically sustainable, underpinned by responsible practices to ensure that the environment is
protected from biosecurity threats.

Media contact:

Toky Rasoloarimanana, Communications Officer, Fisheries Division, Pacific Community   tokyr@spc.int, Mob : +687  89 93 94

Roy Palmer, Executive Director, Aquaculture without Frontiers (AwF), e: comms.awf@gmail.com , Mob: +61 419 528733

About the Pacific Community Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems Division

The Regional Fisheries response have been part of SPC mandate for almost seventy years. The SPC Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems Division leads fisheries science expertise in the Pacific region and supports the 22 Pacific Islands countries & territories in coastal fisheries and aquaculture. We are working in an area covering 28,2 million km² of ocean, with the support of over 35 international partners.

About Us:

The Pacific Community (SPC) is an international development organisation gathering 26 Member Countries and Territories. SPC harnesses science, knowledge and innovation for sustainable development, benefiting Pacific people, since 1947. www.spc.int