15 Mar 2013

PNA reaffirms strict adherence to fishing limit

8:48 am on 15 March 2013

In response to Kiribati flouting rules set by the Parties to the Nauru Agreement, the eight-member fisheries bloc has issued a strong statement at its annual meeting reconfirming a commitment to enforce fishing limits this year.

The PNA's vessel day scheme has led to a more than doubling of the price paid by distant water fishing nations for access to the ocean zones of the PNA nations where the majority of skipjack tuna is caught in the Pacific.

The scheme is based on a limited number of fishing days that are divided among PNA members.

When a country reaches its limit, it is required to trade for additional fishing days from other members but last year Kiribati went over its limits, preventing trading among the members.

The Chairperson of the PNA Dr Chris Ramofafia, says a resolution was signed last week by all members including Kiribati, reaffirming the strict application of the scheme.

"It is very very important really because the VDS is the management tool that all the parties agreed to to use to manage the Pacific fisheries, as far as the PNA is concerned that's the most important arrangement in terms of management of our resources."