Monday, November 19, 2012


PACIFIC REGION, MONDAY 19 NOVEMBER 2012: With just two weeks until fishing
nations and Pacific Islands meet at the Western and Central Pacific
Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) meeting, the Parties to the Nauru Agreement
(PNA) said it will not bow to pressure to open the high seas to foreign

Each year the WCPFC brings together the Pacific Island countries, Asian
nations, US, EU and other foreign fishers to meet and decide rules for
fishing of tuna throughout the Western and Central Pacific Ocean, the
world's largest tuna fishery, supplying 50% of the global tuna supply. This
year the Commission must decide on a conservation and management measure for
tuna at its annual meeting from 2-6 December in Manila, Philippines.

Overfishing of bigeye tuna, a popular sashimi fish, caught by longline
fishing and as bycatch in purse seine fishing, is a problem in the region,
despite healthy levels of other tunas such as skipjack tuna (commonly used
for canned tuna).
Science indicates that the PNA's closure of high seas areas bordering their
national waters (sometimes called 'high seas pockets') had a significant
effect in reducing bigeye tuna catch, in conjunction with other measures
(such as controls on Fish Aggregating Devices or FADs).

PNA Chair Nanette Malsol said: "In 2008, PNA decided to close high seas to
foreign fishing vessels, a move that was a world first, leading the way in
conservation. The WCPFC members also supported this high seas closure that
year. While recently, some members have been talking about reopening the
high seas, this is a vital part of PNA's conservation and management of

Philippines have an exemption for 36 of its boats to fish in the high seas
area around Palau, FSM and Papua New Guinea and other countries are pressing
for high seas management areas rather than complete closure of the high seas

PNA Chair Nanette Malsol further commented: "Fishing nations should know
that no matter what happens at the WCPFC, the high seas around PNA countries
will remain closed. Rather than pressurizing us to reduce our conservation
and management standards, the PNA is calling on the distant water fishing
nations to increase their standards by taking voluntary conservation and
management measures this year at WCPFC."

The PNA are eight countries that cooperate to manage the world's largest
sustainable tuna purse seine fishery - Federated States of Micronesia,
Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Tuvalu, Papua New Guinea and
Solomon Islands.

For interviews contact Anouk Ride: +677 74 94548
The above article was received from Anouk Ride. FSM Public Information Office is posting it here word by word as FSM is a major party in the PNA. All credits given to Anouk Ride, the originator.

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