Tuvalu port

AFMA supports deep dive into Tuvalu port state measures

In April 2024, representatives from the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) delivered a workshop in partnership with Tuvalu’s Fisheries Department, Ports Authority, Customs, and Immigration and Shipping agents, in Funafuti, Tuvalu.

The focus of the workshop was the implementation of the Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing, also called the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA. Tuvalu authorities requested AFMA deliver the workshop via AFMA’s Pacific Program as they consider whether to accede to the treaty.

The PSMA aims to address IUU fishing by strengthening port controls over foreign fishing vessels and preventing any fish linked to illegal practices from entering the market.

AFMA shared information about Australia’s port State measures and experience as a party to the PSMA and provided guidance and context regarding specific obligations. Workshop participants also conducted a gap analysis of Tuvalu’s laws and practice to identify areas where Tuvalu may need to modify its approaches to meet all PSMA obligations.



The fishing industry in Tuvalu is an important component of the economy, generating over $35 million in revenue for the Government. The Port of Funafuti supports bulk tuna transhipment from purse seine to carrier vessels flagged to other countries. Foreign vessels also catch fish within Tuvalu’s waters under access agreements and are inspected by authorised officers from Tuvalu Fisheries Department.

Mr Wez Norris, Chief Executive Officer of AFMA, thanked the Tuvalu Fisheries Department for their hospitality during the workshop and commended them for their commitment to combatting illegal fishing.

“The Tuvalu Fisheries Department has demonstrated their strong monitoring, control and surveillance capabilities and port State measures. Both are important tools used by authorities to identify and respond to IUU fishing activity.”

“We are proud to work with Tuvalu to ensure fish stocks are managed sustainably to support the livelihoods of people in the region.”

Mr Sam Finikaso, Tuvalu’s Director of Fisheries, expressed his great appreciation for the assistance from AFMA.

“We are interested in acceding to the PSM Agreement, but really wanted to understand what new responsibilities this would involve.”

“We are very grateful to AFMA for sharing their experience and helping to identify the gaps in our current port state procedures. We are more confident now that we can tackle these issues.”

The PSMA workshop was funded by the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade under AFMA’s Pacific engagement program.

For more information:  
Media: media@afma.gov.au or 0437 869 860  

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