Tuvalu Fisheries Department Engages in Innovative Communications Training

In a dynamic initiative aimed at bolstering sustainable fishing practices, the Coastal Fisheries team of Tuvalu embarked on a transformative journey during a specialized training session held from 12th to 15th March. Led by industry experts Steve Menzies of Flinch Marketing and Hugo Nguyen from the Pacific Community (SPC), this workshop delved into the realm of community communications campaigns with fervor and purpose.

The training, a collaborative effort involving staff from the Tuvalu Fisheries Department, Community Fisheries Officers, Tuvalu Media representatives, the Met Service, the Trade Department, TUCAN and various NGOs, was a strategic response to the escalating challenges posed by climate change and burgeoning population pressures. The urgent call to curb unsustainable fishing practices, such as targeting undersized fish and endangered species, resonated profoundly throughout the sessions.

With a keen focus on fostering engagement and igniting change at the grassroots level, the training encompassed a spectrum of enriching modules. From strategic planning to audience research, from crafting compelling campaigns to harnessing the power of smartphone content creation, every facet of effective communication was meticulously explored. Techniques for impactful interviewing, graphic design essentials using Canva, and direct support measures formed integral components of the immersive learning experience.

For the Coastal Fisheries team, deeply entrenched in their commitment to enhancing coastal resource management, this training served as a catalyst for innovative approaches. It provided a roadmap for weaving communities into the fabric of campaign design, execution, and evaluation. Emphasizing the adoption of sustainable practices, such as employing correct net mesh sizes, the team emerged invigorated and armed with newfound insights.

Steve Menzies, Director of Strategic Communications & Behavior Change at Flinch Marketing, expressed optimism about the transformative potential of the strategies discussed. Drawing parallels with successful interventions in realms like road safety, tobacco control, and family planning, Menzies underscored the adaptability and efficacy of communication-driven behavior change.

The sentiment was echoed by Matapepe Sikitia, a Community Fisheries Officer from Niutao, who hailed the workshop as a pivotal learning experience. “A big thanks to Steve Menzies and Hugo for delivering such an important workshop,” remarked Sikitia, reflecting the collective sentiment of enriched knowledge and empowerment among participants.

As the Fisheries team embarks on a journey fuelled by creativity and community collaboration, the ripples of this training are poised to resonate across the azure waters of Tuvalu, fostering a sustainable legacy for generations to come. With Flinch Marketing spearheading communication initiatives alongside