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PNA tuna fisheries. (Photo: PNA/FIS)

Another PNA country closes its waters to foreign fishing

  (MARSHALL ISLANDS, 11/21/2011)

Three countries of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) have closed their waters to foreign fishing vessels so they can maintain sustainable tuna fishing limits.

Tuvalu last week was the latest to make the announcement, notifying all foreign purse seine fishing vessels that they are no longer welcome in Tuvalu waters for fishing purposes.

The country’s move follows that of Nauru two weeks ago when its waters were closed after having reached its fishing limits. In June 2011, the Solomon Islands Cabinet decided to close its fishery too.

"A lot of countries have used their fishing days and therefore have to close the fisheries, wait until next year and then they can reopen and start fishing again," Nauru Agreement spokeswoman Anouk Ride said, Australia Network News reports. "There might be some local operators still going, but all the foreign fishing vessels now have to stay out of the waters of Tuvalu, Solomon Islands and Nauru."

The PNA’s conservation and management of tuna entails key measures including limiting the number of days fishing vessels can operate in the PNA’s 14 million sqkm-territory. The area provides around 30 per cent of the world’s tuna supply.

For this purpose, the PNA runs a Vessel Day Scheme for foreign purse seine vessels, giving them a total number of fishing days divided between the eight PNA ocean states, which can also trade days between them. If a PNA member country uses up their days, it must close the fishery and purchase fishing days from another country to keep fishing efforts in the PNA area within sustainable limits.

Last year, PNA committed to establish hard limits on fishing beginning in 2011, which led to fishery closures by Tuvalu, Nauru and the Solomon Islands. The latter then bought fishing days from the Marshall Islands and sold these days to Korea.
 
In 2011, Papua New Guinea bought fishing days from the Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Palau so PNG can continue to sell fishing days in its waters and keep its fishery open.

"Despite the challenges they have as developing countries, Nauru, Tuvalu and Solomon Islands have enforced their fishing day limits by closing their waters to foreign tuna fleets,” said PNA Director Dr Transform Aqorau. “They have made a short-term sacrifice of revenue in order to make a longer term gain of getting a higher price for their fishing days and to ensure fishing is kept in sustainable limits.”

“We are all very proud of our leaders who have taken these hard decisions to help the PNA reach towards its goal of creating the world’s largest sustainable tuna purse seine fishery," Aqorau added.

Related article:

-
Govt imposes limits on foreign fishing vessels 

By Natalia Real
[email protected]
www.seafood.media


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