Recently, SPC-OFP undertook a review of its program of national level scientific advice and support, and identified a number of potential improvements to how it might deliver more timely, concise and effective national level scientific advice and support to its member countries, so as to better meet their needs in the new and rapidly evolving Commission driven management environment.
Specifically, OFP has had two proposals endorsed by its members (via Heads of Fisheries meetings), these being:
- A proposal that, in future, much of the key fishery overview and other information currently provided through the hardcopy NTFSRs will be stored online in an actively updateable format which will be made available to its members through country-specific and secure websites hosted within the SPC-OFP website. SPC has sourced funding to implement this facility, which should be available by mid 2011.
- A proposal to start producing much shorter, issue-specific national reports, issued on a regular to semi-regular basis, depending on the topic. These issue specific reports will be developed for all countries in instances where multiple countries have come to SPC requesting similar analyses. This change is dependent on the establishment of the online facility and the acquisition of additional staffing resources.
SPC would also note that the revised approach:
- Would not completely preclude the production of NTFSRs in the future, if requested. However, under the revised system, they would become much shorter (<50 pages) and would predominantly be a summary of existing online material and reports (facilitated by print ready versions of the online papers). They would only be produced in the lead up to TMP revisions to support the national consultative processes usually undertaken during those.
- Would not affect OFP participation at national TMP consultations, or the hosting of training attachments of national fisheries officers, which would proceed as in the past.
- Will allow SPC-OFP to provide more resources towards addressing shorter term ad-hoc requests for national level advice. SPC-OFP intends to increases its responsiveness and resourcing of ad-hoc national level advice requests from its members, and it is possible that reports produced in response to those requests can also be embedded in the new online country web-pages.