Project funded by



Overall objective


Project expected results

Duration and budget








The Pacific-ACP (P-ACP) countries are located in the midst of the most important tuna fishing ground in the world annually supplying over 1 million t, a quarter of the world supply, and valued at more than €1 billion. At present, the majority of the catch is taken directly by distant water fishing nations in the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) of P-ACP countries in return for licence fees. A smaller, but growing, share is harvested by P-ACP vessels or landed in P-ACP ports. These activities employ an estimated 12 thousand Pacific Islanders with 90% of these, mostly women, in land-based processing jobs. The economic livelihoods of thousands more are dependent on small scale commercial tuna fishing and marketing. There are, therefore, very large potential gains for P-ACPs from increasing the share of the benefits that they secure from tuna resources through increasing P-ACP fishing operations and capabilities; and from encouraging the localisation of other tuna fishery-related activities. Since there are limited opportunities to increase total catches, the emphasis will be on securing a greater share of the sustainable catch for local enterprises. Economic studies carried out under the first phase of DevFish project (EDF 9) have demonstrated empirically the benefits of this approach, and formed the basis for development planning and policy advice to promote private sector development and foreign investment.


The first phase of DevFish project was designed to build on past projects by the Asian Development Bank, the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) and other agencies which identified constraints to the development of P-ACP domestic tuna industries. In particular the DevFish project undertook interventions to improve the economic and policy conditions as well as specific actions to mitigate constraints in areas including EU food safety requirements, port management, and rising fuel prices.Its success was recognized in annual Results Orientated Monitoring (ROM) missions as well as a mid-term review. However, these reviews acknowledged that a long-term commitment will be necessary to achieve the ambitious goals of the project, and a second phase was strongly recommended.


The two regional EDF10 projects, SciCOFish and DevFish2, represent a coordinated approach by the two regional agencies FFA and SPC to jointly address the three pillars of sustainable fisheries – science-based management, development and enforcement. It will also complement activities under the proposed EDF10 FACT project (link) which will enhance capacity for trade in agricultural and aquaculture products.


The Project will be implemented by the Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) as the lead agency, with support from the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC). In line with the mandates of the two organisations, work undertaken by FFA will focus on economic and policy issues relating to industry development, as well as the coordination of Monitoring Control and Surveillance activities. SPC will contribute technical expertise in fisheries development, particularly assistance targeting artisanal fishers and Small and Medium Enterprises; and analysis of tuna fishery databases to quantify IUU fishing levels, as well as assistance to countries in better using national data for this purpose. The two organisations have an extensive history of joint work.








Overall objective

The overall objective of the programme remains the same as the original DevFish project – to increase the contribution from the sustainable use of highly migratory marine resources, particularly tuna, to the alleviation of poverty in P-ACP states, now also including Timor Leste. The project purpose is to reduce constraints to domestic tuna industry development. These arise from economic and environmental vulnerabilities, including a lack of local capacity to manage and support the tuna industry including small scale operations and from IUU fishing activities which both divert economic benefits and threaten efforts to sustainably manage the resource.




The main beneficiaries of the project will be Pacific Islanders already involved (or who have the potential to become involved) in tuna fishing, marketing, processing and service industries. The expansion of tuna processing mainly creates employment opportunities for women. Key stakeholders comprise the tuna fishing, processing and servicing companies, as well as their national industry associations and associations supporting small scale fishers which have been developed and strengthened during the first phase of the project. Government fisheries administrations, and the departments responsible for other key activities such as export certification, will also be important partners in the project. The project has been developed following extensive consultations with stakeholders during the first phase and the concept was endorsed by a meeting of P-ACP Fisheries Ministers in May 2008. As in the first phase of the project, material of interest to the tuna industry of the OCTs will be translated and distributed through SPC. The WCPFC is not a direct stakeholder in the project, but efforts to reduce IUU fishing in EEZs will complement initiatives to control fishing on the high seas and strengthen fisheries management.



Project expected results

Component 1: Tuna Industry Development


Activities under Component 1 will build directly on the work of the first phase of the DevFish project in promoting the establishment of a more favourable policy environment for tuna industry development, including the small scale component. They will also provide direct assistance to small and medium enterprises in the sector as well as artisanal fishers that have faced difficult operating conditions over the past few years with rising fuel prices and stagnant demand, particularly for longline caught tuna. In contrast, many of the larger tuna processors target the EU market, and will benefit from recent EU-Pacific EPAs, but will need to adjust to the expected erosion of tariff preferences in the medium term. Note that this development does not require an increase in catches – indeed a reduction of fishing effort on some species is envisaged – but on increasing the share of catches taken by local operations, and by increased landing and processing of these catches in P-ACP countries.


Specific activities will include:


1-1.   Assist with Fishery Development Strategies


1-2.  Improve Transparency in Systems and Procedures


1-3.  Provide Technical Assistance to Competent Authorities


1-4.  Provide Training to Industry for Expansion of Exports


1-5.  Provide Technical Assistance and Training for Fishing Companies


1-6.  Conduct Pilot Projects Introducing New Technologies


1-7.  Support artisanal-tuna fishing operations



Component 2: IUU Fishing Deterrence


Component 2 will focus initially on building a region-wide IUU deterrence strategy from the foundations provided by recent and ongoing studies. It will utilise the results of initial monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) studies in building robust and cost-effective regional capabilities to combat IUU fishing. It will then contribute to the development of a cost-effective response that builds on the strengths of current national and regional MCS measures, and addresses the weaknesses.


Activities will include:


2-1.  Develop a Regional Strategy to Combat IUU Fishing


2-2.  Identify and Remedy Technical, Legal and Capacity Shortfalls


2-3.  Integrated Assessment of Enforcement and Fisheries Databases


2-4.  Integrated enforcement action





Duration and budget


Operational implementation phase starts from the entry into force of the financing agreement (3/03/2010) and will have duration of 54 months, comprising a six-month start-up period and 4 years of project activities.


The project will have a total budget of €8.2 million, of which €7.2 million represents project direct costs.





Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific


Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency



For more information, please contact Jonathan Manieva, SPC/DevFish Officer




Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 August 2011 13:21