FFA does not have a climate change programme as such, but mainstreams climate change adaptation through its work on the management and development of tuna fisheries. In particular, increasing the economic benefits derived from tuna resources will allow countries to build resilience against climate change threats. In fisheries management, the adoption of target reference points and harvest control rules will allow adaptation to impacts of climate change on the abundance and distribution of tuna and related species. Tuna and billfish are highly migratory and the available biomass and distribution of that biomass is mainly threatened by accelerating levels of fishing; but climate variability and climate change have significant impacts on distribution and abundance. The impacts are important and will become a real threat to Pacific Island countries in the longer term. This is particularly true for the most vulnerable economies, which are highly dependent on oceanic fisheries not only for subsistence but also because of the financial benefits they get from exploiting the resources and their subsequent contributions to GDP. Through its normal work programme, guided by national priorities in country service level agreements, FFA will provide the necessary support to its members in the areas of mainstreaming climate change into domestic fisheries legislation and strategic policies and plans.
In the area of climate change mitigation, FFA is benchmarking the use of HCFC (hydrochlorofluorocarbon) gases in both onshore cold storage and fishing vessels in the fishing industry, working closely with UNEP and national ozone officers. A second phase of this project is planned to assist member countries to phase out the use of these powerful greenhouse and ozone depleting gases to comply with obligations under the Montreal protocol and the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL 73/78). FFA has also undertaken energy audits of selected processing plants and fishing vessels with a view to reducing energy use and costs. A manual of best practice will be available soon.
For work on ozone-depleting substances Mr Rib. Awira and for other enquiries Mr Mike Batty.