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PNA statement on key decisions on managing tuna fisheries

PNA statement on key decisions on managing tuna fisheries

Funafuti, Tuvalu, 11 April 2011: The Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) Ministers concluded today as leaders made key decisions to advance their sustainable management and development of its tuna.

The Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) includes Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu. Collectively, the PNA controls 25-30% of the world’s supply of tuna and cooperate to sustainably manage and develop this key resource.

Opening the meeting Hon. Prime Minister of Tuvalu Willy Telavi, described the challenges facing the PNA. He said: “Around 35% of global skipjack supplies for canning come from PNA waters, and these shares are increasing. These figures are remarkable and one can only conclude the Pacific Islands are blessed. But while much is given from the PNA, we only receive 5% sales from our fish. This is sad and unacceptable. Our small size, compared to those we trade our marine resources with, can disadvantage us when we negotiate trade terms. Despite these hurdles and what the world may say about us, one thing is certain – we are one in will, aspirations, values, interest and spirit.”

Ministers put a high priority on the Tuvalu Prime Minister’s call to change the terms of trade, building on the strength of each PNA member, to create more jobs and economic profits at home.

Key decisions made at the PNA Annual Ministerial Meeting include:

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• PNA CREWING ON BOARD PURSE SEINE VESSELS: PNA earlier agreed on a 10% minimum Pacific Islander crew on board purse seine fishing vessels. Ministers this week agreed to establish a PNA Crewing Agency in Tarawa, Kiribati. • COMMERCIAL AND BUSINESS ARRANGEMENTS: PNA discussed progress on options to increase the proportion of retail profits from skipjack tuna that goes to PNA countries through new arrangements with industry and retailers.


• ADDITIONAL FAD CLOSURE: PNA Ministers decided to extend the current 3-month ban on setting of nets around Fish Aggregating Devices (or FADS, man made shelters which often result in large catches of juvenile fish and bycatch of other species) to 6 months each year. Details of when and how this measure will be introduced will be released later in the year. • NEW NET MESH RULES: PNA agreed to not have nets with mesh smaller than 90mm (3.5 inch), to limit bycatch and catch of juvenile tuna and prevent transfer of small mesh nets from other countries to the PNA waters. This will be phased in over two years. • DEVELOPMENT OF A LONGLINE VESSEL DAY SCHEME: Just as the PNA has developed a Vessel Day Scheme for purse seine fishing, Ministers also noted the current trial of a Longline Vessel Day Scheme.


• PNA OBSERVER AGENCY: The PNA, to meet and sustain the agreed objective of 100% observer coverage on purse seine fishing vessels, agreed to establish a PNA Observer Agency to coordinate their own observers and to establish coordination hubs in Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and Papua New Guinea (PNG) to manage travel and administrative arrangements for PNA observers. • FISHERIES INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SYSTEM: PNA agreed to take control of its fisheries data and integrate this in an online fisheries information management system (including log sheets, observer reports, surveillance reports, licence information, days allowed and other key data).

PNA Director Dr Transform Aqorau said: “Ministers have been clear in their direction – PNA must take control of tuna fishing in our waters, increase our share of profits, and do this through our sustainable management of tuna. The decisions this week also help PNA ocean states to build on their strengths – such as creating the PNA Observer Programme with coordination hubs in FSM and PNG and PNA Crewing Agency in Kiribati. Here in Tuvalu, Ministers have exchanged experiences and built solidarity around a common vision of economically profitable and environmentally sustainable exploitation of our skipjack tuna.”

Full text of the speeches of Tuvalu Prime Minister and PNA Director and photos are available on:


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