Commission’s executive director wants to finish term on a high

by Hugh Walton and Iliesa Tora | 2 December 2022 | News

Da Nang, Vietnam (Nov 28): Western Central Pacific Fisheries Commission Executive
Director, Mr Feleti Penitala Teo, will end his term at the top helm of the organization in
March, 2023 after eight years on the job.

Mr Teo announced this at the opening ceremony of the 19th Regular Session of the
WCPFC here in Da Nang, Vietnam today.

He had come to the position in 2016 during the WCPFC11 in Apia, Samoa.
“As I would take my discharge from the WCPFC early in the new year, I will do so with
fond memories and a sense of self-satisfaction,” Mr Teo said.

“Now, as I look back, I am very grateful and respectful to having been a very small part
of the journey of the WCPFC for the last eight years. As the WCPFC scaled new
heights and stood tall amongst the other tuna RFMOs with many success stories and
achievements unmatched by its counterparts in other regional oceans. A moment to
treasure and revel in it.”

But before he wants to sign off on a high.

He wants to ensure that ensure that deliberations at the meeting here in Da Nang
achieves what has been set before the committee and delegates.

Despite the Commission’s inability to meet physically and the constraints and
confinements of virtual meetings, the Commission was able to sustain over the period of
three years its routine operations and functionalities as mandated by the WCPF

“Although, there were slippages in the achievement of agreed timelines for some of the
more technically challenged issues like those associated with the implementation of the
Harvest Strategy workplan, the Commission was able to avoid avoidable gaps in its
conservation and management regime,” Mr Teo stated.

The Commission continued to:
 undertake its scheduled stock assessments;
 sustain and continued the operations of its compliance and monitoring control
and surveillance tools and programmes;
 sustain the operations of the WCPFC compliance and monitoring scheme and
even undertook improvements to it;
 negotiate virtually a revised tropical tuna measure in 2021;
 convened on a trial basis the first virtual science-management dialogue this

He said he was proud of the Commission’s ability to rise to the occasion and do right for
the sustainability of the health of the fish stocks under the purview of the Commission.
Mr Teo added that he was also looking forward to those characteristics as the
Commission seek to address, at its first physical meeting after three years, key issues
 harvest strategy development and implementation, including a Management
Procedure for skipjack;
 ongoing reforms to improve the efficiency and efficacy of the compliance and
monitoring scheme;
 preparations for negotiations of a new or revised tropical tuna measure in 2023;
 and progressing the important work of the various intersessional working groups
on issues like electronic reporting and monitoring, crew labour standards, and

He added that the The Annual Report of the Executive Director for this year documents
a full and active year for the Commission and the Secretariat.
The meeting, which was opened by Dr. Tran Dinh Luan, Director General of the
Directorate of Fisheries of the Government of Vietnam, continues this week, with
Outcomes expected to be finalized by Friday, December 2 or Saturday, December 3.