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

No comments:

Post a Comment