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Tonga will progressively implement its 2016-2024 Tonga Fisheries Sector Plan in pursuit of targets 14.4; 14.7; 14.b;
by Tonga - Ministry of Fisheries (Government)
The Tonga Fisheries Sector Plan has been prepared by with funding support from the World Bank. The final plan represents the most significant strategic step towards more effective management of Tongas fisheries resources in over a decade. It lays out an ambitious program of reforms that build on existing programs, and encourage consideration of new policy directions that will place Tongas fisheries in a strong position through the four plan components:
1. Sustainability of community fisheries
2. Profitable commercial fisheries and aquaculture
3. Public and private investment
4. Good governance and capacity building

Cabinet has approved the plan for implementation in 2016 and this now needs to be turned into action.
The Tonga Fisheries Sector Plan provides an analysis of the state of the fisheries sector, the challenges faced and the proposed solutions, and aims to:
a) identify priority areas for investment that will maximise the sustainable contribution of the fisheries sector to food security and economic growth
b) present and cost specific programs and activities to achieve these priorities
c) identify possible sources of financing for the specific programs and activities
d) provide a framework for implementation, and to monitor progress in the short- to medium-term.

The Tonga Fisheries Sector Plan provides a basis for dialogue on the priorities and programs with stakeholders and identifies:
a) strategic objectives for fisheries
b) key programs to achieves these objectives, and
c) provides links between programs using a results framework, and provides indicative program costings.

The plan recognises that it will take at least a year to prepare for implementation. Cabinet has approved that the first steps towards implementation will be:
a) the preparation of a Tonga National Fisheries Policy - the plan identifies a number of potential strategies for improving the framework for fisheries management that will need the careful consideration of stakeholders and government, including a variety of rights based approaches for fishery management. We need to provide a sound policy framework, approved by Government, with the support of stakeholders. to provide a platform for implementation, and
b) a review of stakeholder consultation - the plan proposes a very high level of stakeholder engagement in implementing the plan - the review will be conducted with the full involvement of stakeholders to ensure this engagement occurs effectively and efficiently, and with appropriate levels of governance.

The key focal points of the plan are enhancement and expansion of the Special Management Areas program, the management of coastal fisheries, the management of commercial fisheries, and the economic development of commercial fisheries and aquaculture; supported by public and private investment, good governance, and capacity building.

The Tonga Fisheries Sector Plan brings focus, direction, and strategy to the fisheries program. It links into, is consistent with, and supports the Ministry for Fisheries Corporate Plan, which in turn links into the Tonga Strategic Development Framework. For the first time, the Ministry for Fisheries has a fully integrated planning framework upon which to build progress and action.

Currently the Ministry of Fisheries is focusing on the implementation of the Plan, including seeking funding from development partners for the implementations of more than hundred activities in the plan.
Progress reports
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Community or Locally Managed Marine Areas
  • Integrated Coastal Management
  • Marine Spatial Planning
  • Large Marine Ecosystem approach
  • Ecosystem-based Adaptation
By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information
Type of commitment
  • No take marine protected area
  • Marine protected area with partial protection
  • Multiple use marine protected area
  • Locally or community managed marine areas
  • MPA management and/or enforcement
By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation
Type of commitment
  • Removal or reduction of harmful fisheries subsidies
  • information relating to harmful subsidies
By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
Type of commitment
  • Economic benefits from sustainable fisheries
  • Economic benefits from sustainable aquaculture/mariculture
  • Economic benefits from marine biotechnology
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Research capacity development
  • Data access and sharing
  • Training and professional development
  • Scientific cooperation
  • Transfer marine technology
  • Actions that support SIDS and LDCs
Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets
Type of commitment
  • Legal/policy/institutional measures
  • Access to market-based instruments
  • Transfer of fishing technology
  • Access to coastal fishing grounds
  • Access and capacity building for eco-labelling and traceability systems
  • Community empowerment for fisheries management
Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want
Type of commitment
  • Activities to raise awareness of the comprehensive legal and policy framework for the sustainable development of oceans and seas, in particular UNCLOS, its Implementing Agreements and other relevant ocean-related instruments and promote their effective im
  • Ratification, accession and acceptance of UNCLOS, its Implementing Agreements and other relevant ocean-related instruments
  • Activities to develop the capacity of States towards broader participation in and effective implementation of UNCLOS and its implementing Agreements
  • Strengthening ocean governance, for example through the development of a national ocean policy or regional ocean policy
  • Development of necessary infrastructure and/or enforcement capabilities to comply with international law, as reflected in UNCLOS and as complemented by other ocean-related instruments
December 2014
Establishment of up to more than hundred Special Management Areas
December 2018
Development of National Fisheries Policy
December 2024
Increase the number of marine aquaculture farming for in Tonga for different species
Staff / Technical expertise
Ministry of Fisheries staff, stakeholders, communities, fishers
In-kind contribution
Tonga Government, Ministry of Fisheries, Ministry of Land & Survey
Basic information
Time-frame: July 2016 - December 2024
Tonga Ministry of Fisheries World Bank (Intergovernmental Organisation) Forum Fisheries Agency (Intergovernmental Organisation) Secretariat of the Pacific Community (Intergovernmental Organisation) Government of New Zealand
Ocean Basins
  • South Pacific
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Fishing industry Communities Government
Contact information
Tu'ikolongahau Halfihi, Chief Executive Officer, supi64t@gmail.com , +676 21399
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Other SDGs
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