Outcomes from PNA Presidential Summit

KOROR, PALAU, 25 FEBRUARY 2010: The first Presidential Summit of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) which includes leaders from Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu, today released a declaration on future direction of their tuna fisheries.

The Presidents met at the Ngarachamayong Cultural Centre to discuss the development of the PNA, which aims to develop innovative ways to maximize economic gains from sustainable management of the members’ tuna fisheries.

The PNA Presidents agreed:

CONSERVATION & ECONOMIC RETURNS: to continue to conserve and restore tuna stocks while maximizing economic returns and exploring arrangements to control output and limit effort

VESSEL DAY SCHEME (FOR PURSE SEINERS): to confirm the Vessel Day Scheme (VDS) where vessel owners can purchase and trade days fishing at sea. The VDS constrains and reduces catches of target tuna species, and increases the rate of return to PNA members from fishing activities through access fees.

HIGH SEAS AREAS CLOSURE: to close off additional high seas areas between 10 ºN and 20 ºS, 170 ºE and 140 ºW in the Western and Central Pacific by prohibiting purse seine vessels licensed by the PNA to operate in these waters (an area of 4,555,000 sq km)

ECO LABEL CERTIFICATION: to seek certification of skipjack tuna caught by purse seine vessels in PNA waters setting on free schools of tuna (without Fish Aggregating Devices [FADs])

The Declaration, Public Statements from the Presidents and a Presentation from PNA Director Dr Transform Aqorau is available online: www.ffa.int/nauru_agreement

PNA Director Dr Transform Aqorau, speaking at the Presidential Summit, said:

“As long as it remains affordable, and mums and dads in Europe and the United States can make a quick lunch pack out of tuna, we will always have a readily available market for tuna. We are one of the players in this global industry. 25% of the global tuna catch is caught in our waters. We are therefore in a powerful position to influence and shape the global tuna market in ways that can improve the social and economic well beings of our people, if we want to, and have the courage to take the difficult decisions that will change the fishery. I am pleased with the direction of the Presidents today and look forward to taking PNA initiatives such as the Vessel Day Scheme, the high seas closures and proceeding with new initiatives such as seeking MSC certification which increase the value of our tuna.”

Presidents attending included Federated States of Micronesia President Emmanuel Mori, Kiribati President Anote Tong, Palau President Johnson Toribiong, Nauru President Marcus Stephen, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Dr. Derek Sikua and Tuvalu Prime Minister Apisai Ielemia. Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Michael Somare was represented by his Resources and Trade Minister Ben Semri. Marshall Islands President Iroij Jurelang Zedkaia was represented by Honorable Minister of Resources & Development, Mattlan Zackhras.

Technical assistance provided by FFA and fisheries experts in relation to this activity is in part funded by the Oceanic Fisheries Management Project.

For interviews contact Anouk Ride:
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