Fisheries Ministers Appoint First Female Director General of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency

by FFA Media | 9 July 2018 | Media releases

Dr Tupou-Roosen in discussion with FFA DG James Movick during the FFCMin15. Photo: FFA

Press release—republished from Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), 9 July 2018

Forum Fisheries Ministers announced the appointment of the incoming Director General of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), Dr Manumatavai Tupou-Roosen, at the conclusion of the 15th Forum Fisheries Committee Ministerial meeting which was held in the Cook Islands on 3-5 July and chaired by Cook Islands Prime Minister and Minister of Marine Resources, Honourable Henry Puna.

“We are delighted to announce Dr Tupou-Roosen as the new Director General of FFA. She is very committed to the FFA’s role as a facilitator of regional cooperation on fisheries management within the Pacific region and has excellent strategies for leading the FFA into the next decade as it helps members develop their offshore fisheries,” Honourable Puna said.

He added that “The best thing about it all is that the decision was by unanimous agreement of all of the Fisheries Ministers.”

Responding to her appointment, Dr Tupou-Roosen, who is currently head of the FFA Legal Services, said: “I am very humbled to be chosen as the incoming Director General and sincerely thank our Members for this great honour.”

“I very much look forward to working with Deputy Director-General Matt Hooper and all of our staff to serve our Members. We have a clear mission to ensure the sustainable use of our offshore fishery resources increases the economic and social benefits for all our Pacific people and I am committed to following through on that mission.”

“I see Empowerment, Communication and Collaboration as critical tools to ensuring successful Cooperation and to ensuring our Pacific people prosper.  Strengthening our mechanisms to combat IUU fishing and enhancing social benefits will also be top of mind for me.  I will be making these a priority when I take up the role.”

The selection process for the Director General was extensive and ran over a twelve-month period. Dr Tupou-Roosen will take up her new position in mid-November 2018, replacing Mr James Movick, who has held the role since 2008.

Dr Tupou-Roosen in discussion with FFA DG James Movick during the FFCMin15. Photo: FFA


Dr Manumatavai Tupou-Roosen

Dr Manumatavai Tupou-Roosen has worked for nearly 20 years in the area of fisheries, including 13 years as the FFA Legal Counsel. In this role she has been responsible for providing legal and strategic advice to the Director General on significant Agency-wide issues.

Dr Tupou-Roosen gained a Masters of Law in 1997 under a NZ scholarship with a focus on International Fisheries and achieved First Class Honours. She also gained a PhD in Law in 2004 under a Commonwealth Scholarship, with a focus on International and Regional Fisheries Compliance.

In pursuing her education, Dr Tupou-Roosen was always intent on returning and serving in the area of fisheries in our region.

In her role as Legal Counsel of the FFA, Dr Tupou-Roosen had a long list of achievements, including:

  • Leading the drafting group on the revised texts of the US Tuna Treaty and its related instruments during the negotiations from 2009-2016;
  • Driving the successful implementation of the multilateral Niue Treaty Subsidiary Agreement at regional and national levels, including securing funds to support implementation at the regional level through an in-house legal advisor position for this specific work, and for in-country work at the national level;
  • Initiating innovative ways of dealing with issues, such as developing a strategy to broaden the Agency’s approach to addressing IUU fishing from a vessel-focus to include profiling the actual IUU fishers (Persons of Interest), which has been supported by Members;
  • Directing the revision of the Harmonised Minimum Terms and Conditions (MTCs) for the safety of observers, and led Secretariat support to Members in the lead-up to adoption of the Observer Safety measure by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission;
  • Initiating the comprehensive review of the MTCs in 2013 and 2014 and re-established its role as a strategic tool to set leading in-zone standards to drive compatible measures for the high seas;
  • Forging an effective partnership with SPC to deliver legislative reviews and maritime boundaries solutions;
  • Initiating the Legal Graduate Programme to ensure that nationals of FFA member countries are exposed to, and interested in, fisheries at an early stage in their careers.

Manumatavai Tupou-Roosen Photo: Lisa Williams/PMN