Halafononga ki ha Ngātai Tu’uloa Tonga

Who we are

What is the Tongafish Pathway project?

The World Bank has provided a six year, US$10 million grant to the Tongan Government for a project to support the work of the Ministry of Fisheries. The project is called Pathway to Sustainable Oceans (TongaFish Pathway) - Halafononga Ki Ha Ngatai Tu’uloa. The project starts on 1 July 2019 and ends on 30 June 2025.  A further six year project may follow the initial project.

George Vete

Project Coordinator


The Tongafish Pathway project is built on the foundations of the Tonga Fishery Sector Plan (the TFSP). The TFSP was developed to be the foundation for the next phase of fishery management and development over the ensuing decade. Tongafish Pathway has been developed to lead the implementation of significant parts of the TFSP.

What is the objective of the project?

The objective of the project is to strengthen sustainable management and development of selected commercial, aquaculture, and community fisheries. It will address result in improved management of fisheries and aquaculture; close gender gaps in the sector; and improve food security.

The selected fisheries are:

·        Offshore commercial fisheries (tuna longline and deepwater snapper).

·        Inshore commercial fisheries.

·        Aquaculture for Mabé pearl oysters (Pteria penguin), and giant clams (Tridacna spp.).

·        Community managed Special Management Areas.

A significant focus of the project will be training and capacity building for ministry staff, and SMA and aquaculture stakeholders.

How will we engage?

The project will have a strong focus on engaging with key stakeholders for each project activity. For commercial fisheries and aquaculture, this will mean engagement with the fishers directly involved as well as organised industry groups such as the National Fisheries Council and the Mabé Pearl Industry Association. For SMAs, this means the local communities directly involved in the development and implementation of each SMA management plan. The project will prepare a register of stakeholders, and will provide copies of project material, information, and updates by email as it becomes available.

Key project documents

The project is subject to a wide range of World Bank policies and procedures which are available by subject search from the World Bank website https://policies.worldbank.org
The key project documents are the Project Appraisal Document, and the Environmental and Social Management Framework which are available on the Ministry’s website at http://www.tongafish.gov.to

What is the project implementation strategy?

The Ministry of Fisheries is responsible for implementing the Tongafish Pathway project. To do this, a Project Management Unit (PMU) has been established as a new division of the MinistryA Project Coordinator will lead the PMU, with responsibility for ensuring effective project governance in accordance with the World Bank’s requirements. The implementation of project activities will be the responsibility of the Ministry’s three operational divisions – the Science Division; the Compliance Division; and the Fishery Management Division.

What will we do?

The project will implement a large number of activities during the six year project period. Some of the activities funded under the project include:

·        Review of the National Tuna Fisheries Management and Development Plan, and the Deepwater Fishery Management Plan.

·        Develop tuna and snapper marketing strategies.

·        Development of a new Inshore Commercial Fishery Management Plan.

·        Review of the National Plan of Action for Illegal Fishing.

·        Electronic (video) monitoring feasibility study.

·        Fisheries observer program review.

·        Review of options for low cost vessel monitoring.

·        Implementation of expanded catch and effort reporting program.

·        Mabé pearl industry support program.

·        Review National Aquaculture Management and Development Plan.

·        Develop aquaculture policy framework and legislation.

·        Shellfish hatchery upgrade.

·        Prepare competent authority development plan.

·        SMA compliance support.

·        Technical support for existing SMAs.

·        Establishment of new SMAs.

·        Provision of minor assets (such as small vessels) to selected SMAs.

·        Training, workshops, extension services, and other capacity development activities.

Who else do we work with?

Tongafish Pathway is primarily a Ministry of Fisheries project. However, the Ministry does not work in isolation of other government agencies, regional agencies, and other development partners. In particular, this includes the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Tonga Defence Force (Navy), Ministry of Internal Affairs, Forum Fisheries Agency, Pacific Community, Food and Agriculture Organisation, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.

We Believe in Team Work

Where we Work

Tonga: Pathway to Sustainable Oceans

Halafononga ki ha Ngātai Tu’uloa Tonga

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