By Samisoni Pareti
Top Pacific expert on tuna, Dr Transform Aqorau has congratulated Tonga national Dr Manu Tupou-Roosen in her appointment as the new Director General of the Pacific Forum Fisheries Agency.
Dr Tupou-Roosen is currently Legal Counsel at the FFA headquarters in Honiara, Solomon Islands. She was one of four candidates that got shortlisted for the position of FFA Director General when incumbent James Movick completes his term at the end of the year.
Dr Tupou-Roosen will be the first woman to head the regional agency mandated to manage and oversee the fisheries of Pacific island countries. She is originally from Tonga and was nominated to the DG position by her government.
In welcoming Dr Tupou-Roosen’s appointment, Dr Aqorau, who is the former CEO of the PNA office as well as a former Deputy Director General and Legal Counsel of FFA told Islands Business that the 106th Forum Fisheries Committee had recommended Dr Tupou-Roosen’s appointment last week.
“It is great testament to her diligence, hard work and commitment that she has the confidence of the Committee. I am heartened by the appointment of Dr. Manu, the first female to head the organisation which should be an inspiration to all Pacific Islanders especially our women,” Dr Aqorau told this magazine.
“On a more personal level, I am pleased to have played a small part in her remarkable journey as I had been responsible for her appointment as Legal Officer in 2005 at the FFA when I was Legal Counsel. She replaced me as Legal Counsel when I became Deputy Director General so I am really happy to see her progress to the highest echelons of the organisation.
“She is going to be taking over at a time when the FFA needs to find its niche and where it can really make a contribution to the peoples of the Pacific Islands. They are making excellent strides in monitoring, control and surveillance but are struggling in the fisheries policy realm which requires a bit of refocus. This is going to be challenging as she navigates through the political economy of the fisheries."