24th meeting of Pacific Islands Parties to the US Treaty: Statement
9th Feb 2016, Tokatoka Hotel, Nadi FIJI ISLANDS – The Director General of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, FFA, James Movick, today issued the following statement on the outcome of the meetings of Pacific Island Parties regarding the resolution of 2016 fishing arrangements under the US Treaty.
All 17 member nations of the FFA, referred to in the US Treaty as the Pacific Islands parties, have engaged in intensive discussions over the last two days. Their focus has been to identify options that will achieve the dual goals of allowing PIPs to move forward with an arrangement for the US Treaty for 2016, while also mitigating the financial losses posed by a revision of the 2016 fishing arrangement to meet the US request for fewer fishing days.
These internal negotiations were difficult, as attempting to resolve third party conflicts often results in internal differences that must be overcome. I am pleased to advise that following these considerations, Pacific Island Parties were able to develop a counter-proposal that they strongly believe meets the two objectives.
The Pacific proposal will be forwarded to the US as soon as possible, and it would be inappropriate to share the details until they have had an opportunity to consider it as this remains an active negotiation. But the Pacific parties to the Treaty have been very mindful of the urgency of this matter and do not think it is in any Party’s interests for the fleet to remain tied up, and they took this into consideration in preparing a proposal they believe should satisfy the US without the need for any further negotiation.
Pacific Island Parties look forward to a speedy resolution so that licenses can be issued as soon as possible.
James T Movick
February 9, 2016
http://www.ffa.int/node/1557 (August 5 2015 release on the UST deal for 2016)
http://www.ffa.int/node/1617 (FFA update on UST)
http://www.ffa.int/node/1619 (Pacific nations aim to resolve…)
The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) strengthens national capacity and regional solidarity so its 17 members can manage, control and develop their tuna fisheries now and in the future. Based in Honiara, Solomon Islands, FFA's 17 Pacific Island members are Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Since 1979, FFA has facilitated regional cooperation so that all Pacific countries benefit from the sustainable use of tuna – a multi-billion dollar resource important for many people’s livelihoods in the Pacific.