24 May 2011

Solomons poised for new purse seine deal

3:06 pm on 24 May 2011

A Solomon Islands fisheries official says negotiations could be completed in the next week to enable fishing by foreign purse seine vessels to resume.

Fisheries Ministry investment coordinator Louisa Hodge-Kopa says fishing was suspended after the country reached its limit of days for purse seine vessel fishing under the Parties to the Nauru Agreement.

She says the Solomon Islands is negotiating with another PNA country to buy extra days after exhausting its limit.

"Because fishing conditions were so good this year in the Solomon Islands all of our vessel days were used in the earlier part of the year. Now under the vessel day scheme there is, you know cause fishing's been good in the Solomons but it might not have been good say in other areas, like Kiribati or the Marshalls. So what the vessel day scheme allows is trading of days between countries."

Louisa Hodge-Kopa

The eight countries that are party to the Nauru Agreement control 25 to 30 percent of the world's tuna supply and have agreed to limit their fishing days to sustainably manage the resource.