Saturday, October 17, 2009

Parties to the Nauru Agreement meet in Tarawa

The 27th special meeting of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement Concerning Cooperation in the Management of Fisheries of Common Interest (usually known as the "PNA Group") is meeting in Tarawa, Kiribati, at the moment. The meeting will culminate next week in a Ministerial session, where a decision is expected on the form of the institution that will be set up to facilitate the specialised fisheries development aspirations of the PNA Group of countries*

The new PNA institution will facilitate issues such as
  • trading tuna fishing allocations (vessel-days) between members - possibly pooling of vessel-days and joint licencing of foreign tuna vessels;
  • PNA national observer placements;
  • PNA national crew placement aboard licenced tuna fishing vessels
Joint development options for PNA members in the tuna industry will be explored and it is expected that a PNA Tuna Corporation will also be established.

PNA members have already emphasised that this specialised institution will not weaken the role of the Forum Fisheries Agency. The PNA was set up in 1982 and has a long-established role as a specialised sub-group of FFA, concentrating on the management of the purse-seine fishery. However, FFA is an intergovernmental policy-level secretariat, and is not set up to run commercial operations. The new PNA institution will have a structure that facilitates joint commercially-oriented operations.

PNA members will continue to be FFA members and will will continue to draw upon the services that FFA provides to its members, and PNA members will continue to contribute to FFA decisions. The new PNA institution will be complementary and will actually strengthen the ability of the region to make effective decisions concerning the management of western and central Pacific tuna fisheries - decisions such as the FAD-fishing limitation, the high seas pockets closure, the requirement for 100% observer coverage, and the onboard retention of all purse-seine catch that were spearheaded by the PNA in 2007, supported by the FFA membership, and eventually promulgated across the entire WCPFC region.

A tuna purse-seiner

*The PNA Group currently consists of Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

New Fisheries Regulations Approved by Cabinet

The Nauru Government has just approved two sets of new Regulations under the Fisheries Act to implement recent regional decisions improving the management of tuna fisheries in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean and the PNA subregion.

The Nauru Fishing Licence (FAD_Closure) Regulations 2009 give expression to the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Ccommission decision (in CMM 2008-01) to ban fishing by purse-seiners on Fish Aggregation Devices and floating objects in the months of August and September 2009. This short term ban will end when these Regulations are repealed on October 1 2009 and will be replaced on 1st January 2010 by the Nauru Fisheries (PNA 3rd Implementing Arrangement) Regulations 2009, which include a 3 month ban by fishing by purse-seiners on Fish Aggregation Devices and floating objects from July to September (inclusive) of each year.

Nauru citizens should note that this FAD fishing ban only applies to industrial purse-seine vessels fishing outside the 12-mile limit of Nauru's Territorial Sea. It does not apply to fishing on the FADs deployed by NFMRA for the use of small-scale fishing boats.

The closure is not because "FADs are bad" but because it allows the PNA countries to fine-tune the industrial fishery catch composition - to reduce the proportion of bigeye and yellowfin and increase the proportion of skipjack in the purse-seine catch. The skipjack stock is in good health, but the industrial catches of bigeye and yellowfin need to be reduced.

FADs are considered to be environmentally-friendly in a coastal, small-scale fishery context. They reduce searching time and thus reduce fuel usage and improve safety at sea. Maintaining and replacing the coastal FADs will be a major part NFMRA's coastal fisheries strategy and contribute to improving Nauru food security.

A fish aggregation device, yesterday

The second set of regulations, the Nauru Fisheries (PNA Third Implementing Arrangement) Regulations 2009, give legal expression in Nauru waters to the Third Implementing Arrangement of the Nauru Agreement and also implement the remainder of Nauru's obligations under WCPFC CMM 2008-01). These Regulations come into force on January 1, 2010.

These Regulations, working in concert with similar regulations enacted by all the countries party to the Nauru Agreement, deny licences to fish within the waters of all PNA countries to any vessel which -

• fishes in the high seas areas enclosed largely by PNA exclusive economic zones (EEZs)
• sets nets on Fish Aggregation Devices (FAD) in the months July-September inclusive
• discards any catch at sea (with certain reasonable exceptions)
• does not carry a certified observer aboard at all times

This arrangement has been described as one of the most potentially effective decisions taken by a regional tuna management arrangement anywhere in the world to date, and the closure of the high seas pockets has been hailed by conservation organisations as a significant step towards effective management and conservation of sustainable regional fish stocks.

Again, these regulations apply only to industrial vessels fishing in the EEZ outside the 12-mile limit of the Nauru Territorial Sea. They do not apply to small-scale nearshore fishing boats.

The two high seas pockets closed by the PNA 3rd Implementing Arrangement

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

PNA logo design competition result

The entries for the PNA Logo Design Competition that was publicised earlier this year were voted upon by national representatives to the 28th PNA Meeting, and the winning design was endorsed at the PNA Ministers Meeting held in Niue on 17th May 2009.

Although eight countries (Nauru, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu ) are Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA), only four countries submitted designs. But in total, 35 logo designs were submitted by 11 individuals from these 4 countries, and most were of extremely high quality.

A Nauru entry made it through to the shortlist of five, but the final winner was Marshall Islands student Kelly Schellhase, who will receive the prize of US$2,500 as soon as copyright ownership formalities have been settled. 

The PNA logo will form part of the letterhead for official communications from the PNA Chair, and will be the logo of the new organisation that has been proposed to assist parties to implement PNA joint fishery development initiatives and management arrangements.

Note: PNA stands for the Parties to the “Nauru Agreement Concerning Cooperation in the Management of Fisheries of Common Interest”. The chairship of the PNA Group rotates between Parties, and Nauru handed over to Kiribati last month.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Nauru hands over PNA Chair to Kiribati

The Chairship of the Officials Meeting of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) was handed over by Charleston Deiye - CEO of the Nauru Fisheries and Marine Resources Authority - to Kintoba Tearo, Kiribati's Director of Fisheries, this week at the PNA Annual Meeting in Niue. The Chairship of the PNA Ministerial meeting will be handed over by the Honourable Roland Kun, Minister for Education and Fisheries to Kiribati on 17th May.

The last year, with Nauru in the chair, has been a very significant one for the 8 PNA countries (Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu). The 3rd Implementing Arrangement of the Nauru Agreement was approved by Parties in May 2008 and the Vessel Days Scheme under the Palau Arrangement swung into gear.

These new measures apply several innovative and forward-looking actions to promote the conservation and management of the tuna stocks on which the PNA countries depend. These include:
  • a major change in the way that fishing opportunities are allocated, replacing flag-based licence-limits with zone-based fishing days limits, thus shifting the balance of control away from foreign fleets towards Pacific Island EEZ custodians;
  • closing two significant high seas areas to all forms of tuna fishing from January 1, 2010 - a measure that was later taken up by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission meeting in December 2008,
  • a ban on fishing on drifting fish aggregation devices for part of each year, to reduce the impact of purse-seine fishing on juvenile bigeye tuna - a species threatened by overfishing.
The battle is not yet over. It is likely that further restrictions will be needed to ensure that the impact of fishing - particularly longline fishing - on bigeye tuna is reduced to acceptable levels, and there still remain some purse-seine vessels - flagged by powerful geopolitical interests - that need to be included in the effort limits under the Vessel Days Scheme.

Nauru wishes Kiribati all the best in chairing the PNA group through to May 2010. Nauru will continue to play a full part in the discussion and the implementation of further innovations in the drive to both protect our tuna, and to develop optimum benefit from the Pacific Islands regional resource through increasing cooperation with our PNA neighbours.

Nauru is one of the most tuna-dependent economies in the world, as well as one of the world's smallest countries, and joint action within the PNA gives us considerably more bargaining power in the task of developing sustainable national income from what is now the biggest tuna fishery in the world.

Symbols of the two cornerstones of the Nauru economy

Thursday, May 7, 2009

New foreign fishing regulations in process

Nauru is one of the countries party to the 1982 "Nauru Agreement Concerning Cooperation in the Management of Fisheries of Common Interest", along with the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu. 

The Nauru Agreement is very influential. Over the years, the Agreement has provided most of the impetus for improving the management of purse-seine tuna fisheries in the western tropical Pacific region, both at the policy level, and the detailed practical level through its various Implementing Arrangements.

The main point of the Nauru Agreement is that all eight Parties are applying the same management measures, and the same terms and conditions for access, to all tuna purse-seine vessels fishing in their waters. PNA (Parties to the Nauru Agreement) waters cover most of the best purse-seine fishing areas in the Western Pacific (a total of 15 million square kilometres), and thus through sub-regional cooperation, the PNA can essentially control the management of this fishery.

What is particularly significant is that the Western Pacific Tropical tuna fishery is in better shape than any other tuna fishery in the world. Although Pacific Island countries have concerns that Bigeye Tuna will become overfished if fishing effort is not reduced, overall these fisheries are not overfished - the skipjack stock in particular (the main tuna stock) is in good health - and actions are already being taken to reduce the impact on bigeye tuna to avoid it becoming overfished. The relative health of these Pacific fisheries is due in no small part to the strong control exerted by coastal States, particularly the Parties to the Nauru Agreement, whereas tuna fisheries management in other regions is dominated by industrial fishing interests.

The PNA countries jointly agreed on the PNA third Implementing Arrangement at a PNA Ministers Meeting held in Palau in May 2008. Amongst other things, they agreed that any vessel found fishing for tuna in high seas areas enclosed by PNA exclusive economic zones would have its licences to fish in all PNA EEZs cancelled. There is also a ban on using drifting Fish Aggregation Devices for 3 months of the year and a requirement for purse-seiners to carry an observer aboard at all times. These measures will come into force on January 1st 2010.

There is a long lead-time between the signing of the agreement and its coming-into-force because it will take some time for regional and national observer programmes to gear up for 100% purse-seine coverage (currently it is around 20%) and to get the necessary regulations in place.

NFMRA is currently in the process of ensuring that Nauru can play its full part in this Agreement. A national observer programme is being started up, including the appointment of an Observer Programme Manager and obtaining accredited training for a cadre of Nauru observers, and also in developing regulations to put the 3rd Implementing Arrangement into practice.

These regulations have already been drafted with the assistance of Parliamentary Counsel and the Forum Fisheries Agency, and should be presented to Cabinet shortly. They will be posted on this website as soon as they are approved. However, the basic framework of the 3rd Implementing Arrangement is already agreed and it only remains to enact this under Nauru law.

Another shorter, temporary, set of regulations, to implement an additional measure agreed within the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission - to prohibit purse-seiners fishing on drifting FADs and other floating objects during the months of August and September 2009 - will also be presented to Cabinet for approval.

These new conditions will subsequently be inserted in the conditions of all licences to fish in the Nauru EEZ by foreign fishing vessels.

It should be noted that Nauru small scale fishing boats and fishers are exempt from all of these rules, which are intended to tighten up controls on large-scale industrial fishing across the western pacific sub-region. And these measures will not limit the rights of PNA members, including Nauru, to increasingly participate in the industrial fishery in the PNA area.

FAD buoys aboard a purse-seiner

Thursday, April 16, 2009

FFA Legal Officer Pio Manoa is in Nauru at the moment. Pio has been asked to review the Nauru fisheries legislation and recommend what we might need to add to bring the law up to date with the latest regional agreements on managing stocks of tuna in the western Pacific Ocean.

Nauru has signed several new agreements, since the Fisheries Act came into force in 1997 and the Fisheries Regulations were Gazetted in 1998, including the "Convention on the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean" and the 3rd Implementing Arrangement ("3IA") of the Nauru Agreement Concerning Cooperation in the Management of Fisheries of Common Interest. 

The 3IA is a particularly significant regional agreement because it is apparently the first time that a group of Coastal States (in this case Nauru, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu) have got together to effectively restrict high seas fishing activities. They are doing this by withdrawing the licence of any vessel that fishes in either of the two high seas "enclaves" enclosed by these countries combined Exclusive Economic Zones.

This advice provided by the FFA Legal Officer will be followed up by the AusAID-funded Nauru Fisheries Management Institutional Strengthening Project in drafting new regulations, or insertions into the Act, for consideration by Government. The project will also help the Nauru Fisheries and Marine Resources Authority to implement these new measures, including strengthening fisheries monitoring  and licencing procedures.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Status of Nauru's tuna fisheries assessed by SPC

One of the world's leading tuna scientists, Dr Donald Bromhead of the SPC Oceanic Fisheries Programme is in Nauru this week to finalise the Nauru National Tuna Fisheries Status Report (NTFSR).
As well as assessing these migratory tuna stocks across the whole regional ecosystem, SPC also advises its island member countries individually about the science behind the tuna fisheries within each Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Nauru's EEZ is about 320,000 square kilometres in area and on the map Nauru is just a tiny point of land (21 square kilometres) within this huge ocean area.

Don Bromhead (SPC) and Charleston Deiye (NFMRA CEO)
However, as Dr Bromhead explained, Nauru's EEZ is very well-situated in the path of the Tropical Convergence Zone - an oceanographic feature that sweeps eastwards and westwards through Nauru according to the state of the Southern Oscillation Index (El Nino - La nina) and carries with it the best tuna purse-seine fishing conditions in the Pacific.

These climate-driven fishing conditions are not predictable, but in a good year Nauru can earn over A$10 million from licencing foreign purse-seiners to fish in the Nauru EEZ.

However, there is a price to pay for the stewardship of this natural resource. Dr Bromhead explained that although skipjack tuna stocks are extremely healthy, you can't purse-seine for skipjack without catching yellowfin and bigeye tuna as well. And there are currently too many bigeye tuna being caught, both region-wide and in the Nauru zone, for the stock to replenish itself and maintain fishing at maximum levels of productivity. To make matters worse, although SPC has known for some time that many fishing vessel crews cannot reliably tell the difference between small bigeye and yellowfin tuna, and have probably been inadvertently reporting some of the bigeye they catch as yellowfin, it has just been discovered that this misidentification problem is more widespread than feared.

All of this means that the countries of the region, Nauru included, need to reduce the catch of bigeye tuna, particularly small bigeye tuna, as a matter of urgency if the fishery is not to be damaged. The good news is that it may be possible to reduce the unsustainable catch of bigeye without impacting sustainable catches of skipjack by reducing fishing on drifting Fish Aggregation Devices (dFADs). Most bigeye, in the Nauru zone at least, are caught around dFADs.  Nauru has already committed to this reduction and regulations are being prepared that will prevent foreign purse-seine vessels from fishing on dFADs in Nauru waters in August and September of 2009, along with a suite of other industrial tuna catch-control measures that will take effect from January 1, 2010.

The Nauru National Tuna Fisheries Status Report is a comprehensive up-to-date compilation of all the available scientific information about the role of Nauru's EEZ in the Western Pacific regional tuna fishery. It has taken over 12 months for SPC to compile and the final report will be submitted to the Nauru Fisheries and Marine Resources Authority in a month's time.

Dr Bromhead's visit to Nauru to discuss and present the main findings of the report was made possible by the AusAID/Nauru Fisheries Management Institutional Strengthening Project.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Safety at sea kits to be delivered to Nauru

The NFMRA Fisheries Management Institutional Strengthening Project (ISP), funded by AusAID, has ordered fifteen "Safety at Sea" kits to help Nauru small-scale fishing boats avoid accidents and reduce the risk of being lost at sea.

Tim Adams, the NFMRA ISP Adviser says "We're hoping for these kits to arrive on the April cargo boat, but since the items in the kits come from suppliers in three different countries we can't be sure that they'll all be delivered to Brisbane at the same time."

He explained that there are of course more than 15 small fishing boats on the island, but the project can not afford to give a personal kit to every single boat owner since electronic beacons are expensive. "But we estimate that there are usually not more than 15 boats fishing outside the reef at any one point in time. These kits will be managed by the Nauru Fishing Association and lent out to Association members, when they request them, for the duration of each trip."

"We'll be supplying different kinds of kits for outboard-powered boats and canoes," he added.

Even the relatively high cost of these safety kits is less than the $200,000 that it costs the Nauru Government to hire aerial surveillance when someone goes missing at sea, but of course the value of a life is incalculable.

NFMRA thanks the Coastal Fisheries Programme of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) for their assistance in putting together these kits. SPC has contacts with an extensive list of suppliers around the region and has long experience of the reliability of different items, to ensure best value for ISP money. The kits that have been made up for Nauru include items from New Zealand, Hawaii and Australia.

SPC has also been promoting safety at sea for small fishing vessels for several years. The SPC Nearshore Fisheries Section publishes a wide range of training and awareness materials and will also be sending one of their Fisheries Development Officers, Steve Beverly to Nauru to show members of the Nauru Fishing Association how to use the various items in the kits, and to provide some general sea-safety training.

Putting to sea at the Gabab Channel
Smaller versions of the sea-safety kits will also
 be available for canoes

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Chief Executive Officer of the Nauru Fisheries and Marine Resources Authority, Charleston "Denu" Deiye, is representing Nauru at a meeting in Palau this week between the United States of America and member countries of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency.

This is a routine annual meeting to administer the "Treaty on Fisheries between the Governments of Certain Pacific Island States and the Government of the United States of America" - otherwise known to regional fisheries people as the "US Multilateral Treaty" - which governs access by US tuna fishing vessels to Pacific Island waters.

Under the 22-year old treaty, the USA has essentially bought access to all FFA Pacific Island Member Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) so the vessels in the US tuna purse-seine fleet can range freely across the region, provided they abide by the provisions of the treaty and national laws. Other fleets from outside the islands region must buy EEZ fishing licences from each Pacific Island separately.

The USA thus has a special relationship with the Pacific Islands. The only other vessels which benefit from multilateral EEZ access licences are purse-seine vessels flagged and based in certain Pacific Island countries themselves, under the FSM Arrangement.

NFMRA CEO Deiye is currently the Chair of the "Parties to the Nauru Agreement" - usually known as the "PNA" - and since the PNA countries EEZs are the main attraction for the US purse-seine fleet, the PNA Chair plays an important role in this consultation.

When we asked Mr Deiye if he could talk about the meeting he said "This is a confidential negotiation. However it's no secret that the PNA is looking to change the way we do business with all the tuna vessels fishing in the region."

He explained that the PNA member countries (Nauru, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu) have already agreed to move away from limiting tuna fishing effort by capping the number of licences issued to purse-seiners to fish in PNA waters, and are now limiting fishing effort by setting a cap on the number of days fishing that is allowed in each EEZ.

The US Treaty is still organised according to vessel numbers, not fishing days.

"The Vessel Days Scheme", he said "gives us a much finer level of control over fishing than the licence cap. And nowadays, when some of the tuna species they are catching are reaching their limits of sustainable exploitation, we need to control the fishery much more carefully".

He added that the meeting also reviews any incidents that may have occurred during the course of the year involving US vessels in Pacific Island EEZs, and seeks to resolve them. "But to date it has been a very harmonious arrangement, and has led to many beneficial innovations that have since been applied to other arrangements, such as being the first country to include the regional "Minimum Terms and Conditions" for foreign fishing vessel access that are now built into all access agreements."

NFMRA CEO Charleston Deiye

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Nauru improves tuna vessel monitoring

The Nauru Vessel Monitoring System (usually known as VMS) is receiving attention at the moment.

The national VMS Officer, Mr Murin Jeremiah, is in Honiara on attachment to the Forum Fisheries Agency and the Solomon Islands Fisheries Division for two weeks.

Each of the foreign vessels that is licenced to fish in Nauru waters must have an Automatic Location Communicator (ALC) installed and switched on. This electronic device transmits the vessel's position by satellite to the regional VMS node run by the Forum Fisheries Agency in Honiara. From there it can be monitored by Nauru's VMS system and checked out for compliance.

Nauru is in the process of developing agreements with other Pacific Island countries to allow VMS data to be shared, so vessels can be tracked across the whole region, providing an early warning of which vessels are about to enter Nauru waters.

The VMS is not much use in monitoring vessels which turn off their ALC, but if there is region-wide monitoring it is easy to check if a VMS trace suddenly disappears and to ask why.

The Nauru VMS computer is currently housed at the Civic Centre, close to the main internet feed, but will be moved to NFMRA headquarters when the Oceanic Fisheries database and network is upgraded next month.

VMS has proven to be a powerful tool. Even without an oceangoing patrol boat to physically arrest vessels in the EEZ (Nauru port facilities are too limited to host a patrol boat) VMS data can be used to confront fishing companies and the governments of the countries where the offending fishing vessels are registered, to improve compliance with the law. VMS data can be used as a trigger for further investigation, cross-checking the logsheets and zone entry and exit reports for inconsistencies.

Murin is gaining hands-on experience with the regional VMS system at FFA, and experience boarding and investigating active vessels alongside his Solomon Islands government counterparts, and NFMRA is extremely grateful to the Forum Fisheries Agency and the Solomon Islands Fisheries Department for making this attachment possible. We're looking forward to a significant increase in the detection of offshore tuna fishing violations, when he returns to work on 18th March.

Nauru VMS Officer Murin Jeremiah at the airport
FFA staff demonstrate vessel inspection procedures to workshop participants from several Pacific Island countries.
This is a tuna-spotting helicopter on the top deck of a purse-seine fishing vessel in Honiara harbour.

This attachment exercise is part of the Nauru Fisheries Management Institutional Strengthening Project, funded by the Australian Government as part of its programme of bilateral cooperation with Nauru.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Nauru Fisheries Management Institutional Strengthening Project under way

The AusAID-funded Nauru Fisheries Management Institutional Strengthening Project is now entering its most active phase.

The project aims to develop the capacity of the Nauru Fisheries and Marine Resources Authority (NFMRA) to manage, conserve and develop Nauru's fisheries and marine resources.
This first year of the project concentrates on strengthening NFMRA's capacity for management, monitoring, control and surveillance of industrial tuna fishing in the Nauru Exclusive Economic Zone.

Running from October 2008 to September 2009, this first phase is managed by Fisheries Management Institutional Strengthening Specialist Dr Tim Adams under a PACTAM contract administered by Australian Volunteers International (AVI). Tim was previously Director of the Fisheries Programmes at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, and before that was Director of the Fiji Fisheries Division.

"We've got a lot of work on our plate at NFMRA this year," says Adams. "We're completely upgrading the fisheries computer systems, and installing a network and dedicated server to handle the tuna fisheries licencing and catch-data, with linkages to regional networks at the Forum Fisheries Agency in Honiara and SPC's Oceanic Fisheries Programme in Noumea."

"In addition, NFMRA has divested its former commercial arm and is now concentrating on the main business of a government fisheries authority - regulation and the provision of an enabling framework for the private and community sectors." The project will be helping to strengthen all of these activities, including reviewing the legislation, providing safety equipment for small-scale fishers, and training and expert advice for NFMRA staff and others, as well as advising senior management.

Adams points out that the offshore and nearshore fisheries sectors are extremely important to Nauru, and Nauru is probably now amongst the top three most fisheries-dependent countries in the Pacific Islands region, if not the world. A large proportion of the revenue that goes into the Nauru Government budget comes from licencing offshore foreign tuna fishing vessels, and a large proportion of the protein eaten by ordinary Nauruans comes from nearshore small-scale tuna and coastal pelagic fisheries.

"Phosphate is coming back as a source of revenue with the recent increase in world price", he says, "but if NFMRA is able to continue to manage tuna fisheries effectively, and Nauru is able to continue to play its part in the regional agreements that control tuna fishing at optimum levels, the revenue from fisheries will continue to flow sustainably into the foreseeable future. And that is what we're trying to secure here."

The second and third phases of the project will move the emphasis to improving local food security from nearshore small-boat fisheries, and to reef fishery rehabilitation.

Adams warns "we're going to be doing the hard part next year. Regional tuna fisheries are in good shape, and the main task is keeping them that way in the face of increasing pressure from outside. But the reef around

Nauru has a very small area for the number of people who want to use it, and it will be a major task to restore it. Traditional systems for managing reef fisheries are greatly eroded in Nauru, and it's a lot harder to ask your own citizens to cut back than it is to say 'no' to foreigners."

The Nauru Fisheries Management Institutional Strengthening Project is funded by the Australian Government as part of its programme of bilateral cooperation with Nauru.

NFMRA coastal patrol boat

Fishing outside the reef is becoming increasingly
important to Nauruans