FFA launches new Electronic Vessel Register and Port State Measures Systems

by FFA Media | 22 March 2024 | Media releases

The Electronic Vessel Register and the Electronic Port State Measures systems were launched this morning at the 27th Annual Monitor Control Surveillance Working Group (MCSWG) Meeting currently underway in Honiara this week. Photo: FFA Media/Ivan Utahenua

FFA Media release: The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) on Wednesday launched a major upgrade and development to their monitoring and surveillance efforts, with two new systems built for vessel registrations and Port State Measures.

The Electronic Vessel Register and the Electronic Port State Measures (e-PSM) System was unveiled by FFA Director General Dr Manu Tupou-Roosen at the 27th Annual Monitoring Control Surveillance Working Group (MCSWG27) Meeting currently underway in Honiara.

Developed in partnership with Australian web developer Eighty Options and supported by the New Zealand Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and FFA, these systems mark a significant advancement and milestone achievement in FFA’s efforts to move from paper based to electronic reporting (ER) in the fisheries Sector.

This is a significant step towards data access, accuracy and efficiency to inform vessel registration and risk assessment processes and sharing and exchange of information to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and to promote sustainable fisheries management across the Pacific.

The new Online Vessel Registration System streamlines the registration process for fishing vessel operators, ensuring a more efficient and user-friendly experience. Vessel operators can now directly apply, upload necessary documents, and monitor their application status online, significantly reducing manual processing times and improving the accuracy of the vessel registry information.

The e-PSM system is a breakthrough for a Regional Fisheries Body, offering a real-time platform for the sharing and exchange of information across Members’ ports.

Developed in close consultation with FFA Members, the e-PSM system operationalizes the Regional PSM Framework and is aligned with international standards set by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) 2017-02 and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA).

Facilitating the launching event at the MCSWG27 event this week, from left, FFA Director of Fisheries Operations Allan Rahari, FFA Director General Dr Manu Tupou-Roosen, MCSWG27 Chair from the Republic of Marshall Islands Melvin Silk and FFA VMS Manager Ramesh Chand. Photo: FFA Media/Ivan Utahenua

This system is a critical tool in the fight against IUU fishing, enhancing port State measures through streamlined and efficient data exchange.

The launch of the Electronic Vessel Register and e-PSM System is a reflection to FFA’s commitment to leverage technology to enhance fisheries management and conservation efforts across the Pacific.

Speaking at the launch and demonstration of the e-PSM tool, Josaia Maiwai from the Fiji Ministry of Fisheries shared his reflection.

“Fiji would like to thank the Secretariat for the continuous support and assistance on the development of the e-PSM system. Fiji is in their initial stage of piloting the system, and we highly recommend Members to take into consideration the usage of this tool. We believe that by having this system, it would greatly assist in standardizing our risk analysis and improve our documentation system of vessels entry into port and departure.”

Losaline Otukolo from the Tonga Ministry of Fisheries says Tonga expresses their gratitude to FFA and all the donor partners involved in the development of the e-PSM.

“Being the first nation to implement the e-PSM is a great blessing for us. We trust that this system enhances the national systems through a fully integrated, digitised, and paperless workflow, thus easing the burden of manual systems that we currently implement. There will be challenges that we intent to overcome as part of the implementation process.”

FFA Members are encouraged to engage with these new systems, providing feedback to ensure their continued evolution and effectiveness.