1 Aug 2011

PNA says trading of fishing days shows tuna catch restrictions are working

3:38 pm on 1 August 2011

Officials in the Marshall Islands say a new system to reduce tuna catches in the Pacific and increase benefits to island nations is working.

Island nations are now trading fishing days under a new scheme that aims to reduce tuna catches in the region by 30 percent compared last year.

The director of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement office in Majuro, Transform Aqorau, says Solomon Islands has agreed to buy unused fishing days from the Marshall Islands.

This follows Papua New Guinea's recent purchase of 500 days from Palau.

In both cases, the nations had run out of the days allotted to them for 2011 by the eight-member PNA, which controls a vast ocean area where 25 percent of the world's tuna are caught annually.

Mr Aqorau says PNA members are showing commitment to limiting the sale of fishing days to fishing companies based on the agreed-to level.

The PNA members are Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands.