IUCN Marine Programme in Oceania Ramps Up

13 November 2008 | News story

The recruitment of a marine programme officer at IUCN’s Oceania Regional Office in Suva, promises to boost the organisation’s input to marine conservation activities in the region. Kelvin Passfield, who commenced work at the Suva-based office in August this year, brings with him extensive experience in the management of fisheries from throughout the Asia and Pacific region.

Kelvin’s past work has included aquaculture development and management; fisheries and environmental policy development; and coastal ecosystem management. His interest in fisheries management issues was kindled during his years as a commercial fisherman in the Torres Straits Islands (located between Australia and Papua New Guinea) in the 1980s. He has also worked in Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Tokelau, Tuvalu, Maldives and in various countries bordering the South China Sea. 

Kelvin’s initial work at IUCN involves conducting an assessment of the impact of longline fisheries on seamounts in the Pacific. This assessment will inform the activities of the Oceanic Fisheries Management Project (OFMP), a 5 year initiative designed to improve the management and conservation of oceanic fishery resources in the Pacific islands region. The OFMP is being conducted jointly by the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and IUCN.

In addition to contributing to the OFMP, Kelvin will focus his work on developing a broader and longer-term programme for IUCN’s activities in marine conservation in the Pacific Ocean.

The IUCN Oceania Regional Office was established in Suva, Fiji in 2006 with the objective of enhancing access by Pacific island countries to technical and scientific expertise in conservation-related issues.