The Falkland Islands Government (FIG) and the Falkland Islands Fishing Companies Association (FIFCA) have agreed an Accord to underpin the future of the industry. The Accord acknowledges that the Falkland Islands has a strong commitment to quality, sustainability and the environment.
The Accord is born out of a 2018 independent review into the Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ) system, which since 2005 has been the overall framework for managing the Falkland’s fishery.
FIG and FIFCA have agreed that the key components of the Accord include:
• Building a sustainably managed and successful seafood sector:
• Ensuring healthy oceans
• Caring for our environment
• Protecting our people
• Caring for our community
The Director of Natural Resources, Dr Andrea Clausen, said the Accord is a very significant milestone for the Falklands.
“It demonstrates to Falkland Islanders how the government and the private sector are co-operating to sustain and build what is one of the economic powerhouses of our country. It sets out our shared vision for the future, and how we will work together towards achieving that.”
The Falkland Islands Government Chief Executive, Barry Rowland said the Accord recognizes that it is essential to take a long-term view to keep the fishing sector strong.
“Industry and Government know that the nature and level of investment and planning required to sustain the success of the fishery makes it imperative to take a long-term view. The proposed early extension of the ITQ will provide the necessary stability.”
FIFCA Chairman Stuart Wallace says that the Accord principles have been arrived at after a full process of consultation and dialogue across the sector and with FIG.
“In a fast changing and competitive world, we are stronger together. The Accord aims to provide the essential basis on which companies in the sector can make long-term plans and investments supporting the continued growth and development of this important part of our economy.
“Work on the Action Plan, which is an integral part of the Accord, begins now, it will be complex and challenging and will take energy, commitment and co-operation to get right.
“All of us involved in producing food from our natural resources must understand sustainability, that, with care for our natural world, is at the heart of this work and FIFCA are looking forward to working positively and realistically with the Falkland Islands Government to complete the Action Plan over the coming months.”
Natural Resources portfolio holder, MLA Teslyn Barkman says the Accord delivers on a commitment in the Islands Plan 2018-2022 for Government to work in partnership with fishing companies for a responsibly managed fishery, underpinned by improving understanding of the ecosystem.
“We are making it clear that we are joint stewards of a resource that properly managed and understood, will sustain many generations to come.”
As part of the renewal process, companies will have to sign up and ratify the joint FIFCA and FIG Accord.
A joint 5-year action plan will be created between FIG & FIFCA and will form the basis for how the outcomes will be delivered. Progress on the Action Plan will be reported upon in a joint bi-annual progress report produced by FIFCA and FIG.