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China, Japan, Nauru, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Vanuatu

Nauru EEZ closed to purse-seiners

Purse-seiners from China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Vanuatu have been advised Nauru has closed its EEZ for 2011.

But individual vessels can still fish Nauru waters if they can purchase additonal fishing days from the Office of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA).

These entitlements would have to come from zones of other Parties to the Nauru Agreement that have under-used fishing allocations.

“The trouble is, there aren’t many underused allocations this year,” says Nauru Fisheries and Marine Resources Authority (NFMRA) Chief Executive Officer, Charleston Deiye. “PNA has really tightened up the vessel-days system after getting some criticism from certain quarters in the USA and Spain. They said we were not able to fully control foreign fishing effort being transferred from the high seas into EEZs after the high seas closures came into effect in 2010. Although we dispute that – the baseline estimate of high seas effort doesn’t take into account the full extent of previous high seas fishing by the Philippines, and it doesn’t take into account the fact that the US purse-seine fleet has doubled its purse-seine effort since the baseline was drawn up – the PNA countries are going to make very sure that we don’t lay ourselves open to similar accusations in future”.

We need to keep this fishery under tight control because there is a higher density of fishing in Nauru, in terms of number of purse-seine sets per square mile of EEZ than any other Pacific Island EEZ”.

Read the full statement at the Nauru Fisheries and Marine Resources Authority website

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About Samantha Magick

Journalist and editor

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