Race for FFA job

Pacific lawyers to replace FFA chief

By NETANI RIKA, Pasay City, the Philippines

A TWO-WAY race is on for the position of Director-General of the Forum Fisheries Agency.

With the contract of incumbent James Movick ending in 2018, the search for his replacement appears to be narrowed to current Republic of the Marshall Islands Attorney-General, Dr Filimon Manoni, and Tonga’s Dr Manu Tupou-Roosen.

Manoni is a former FFA Legal Adviser while Tupou-Roosen currently serves in that position with the FFA headquarters in Honiara, Solomon Islands.

Nominations for the position will close this week.

Tonga has started to lobby for Tupou-Roosen at the 14th Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission meeting at Pasay City in the Philippines.

CEO of the Tongan Fisheries Ministry, Tuikolongahau Halafihi, said his country’s nominee was a highly qualified candidate well-suited to the position.

“Dr Tupou-Roosen has vast experience not only in the laws regarding fisheries but also in the working of the FFA in which she has held a senior position for some time,” Halafihi said.

“Tonga would like to see her in the role of Director-General and we are talking to delegates here at WCPFC for their support.”

The second candidate – Manoni – is not new to the FFA but has a reputation for a hard stand on corruption in his home country. Although originally from Papua New Guinea, Manoni has worked in the Marshalls for a very long time.

Manoni’s no-nonsense attitude will be seen as a strength by the 17 FFA member-countries who constantly battle against large Distant Water Fishing Nations in legal negotiations and treaties on the use of regional fisheries.

Tupou-Roosen’s advantage will be her years of experience working with the FFA and its legal team.

Manoni has been nominated by the Marshall Islands.

Meanwhile, FFA Deputy Director-General Wez Norris’ term ends this year and he is expected to be replaced by a New Zealander with extensive experience at the Food and Agriculture Organisation in Rome.