A top Pacific Islands fisheries official says only fishing companies who comply with conservation and management measures will have access to the region’s waters.
The Head of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) Secretariat, Dr Transform Aqorau, has told the Pacific Tuna Forum in Palau, that only those supporting both the economies of PNA countries and tuna conservation will be able to fish in PNA waters.
‘The message is simple, you either shape up or ship out,’ said Dr Aqorau.
In October 2010, the eight member states Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) prohibited tuna purse-seine fishing in approximately 4.5 million square kilometers of the Pacific Ocean high seas, their combined Exclusive Economic Zones. The PNA has also implemented a Vessel Day Scheme (VDS) which allocates the total allowable fishing days to purse-seine vessels in PNA waters during any one calendar year—based on scientific data and advice.
The eight signatories to the agreement, which governs the management of their fisheries, are Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands.