6 Mar 2014

PNA meet in Solomons to maximise conservation and dollars

2:49 pm on 6 March 2014

The Parties to the Nauru Agreement are meeting in Solomon Islands this week to look at conservation measures while optimising the economic opportunities for the islands from tuna fishing.

The PNA vessel day scheme has resulted in a quadrupling of revenue to PNA members over the last four years, and the minimum fee for a day this year is $6000 US dollars.

The PNA lobbied at last year's Tuna Commission meeting for the distant water nations to follow suit and introduce greater limits to their fishing of bigeye tuna on the high seas.

But the Commerical Manager of the PNA, Maurice Brownjohn, says there's been very little complementary conservation.

"One fleet is dealing with the purse-seine fishery where there is a by-catch of juvenile bigeye which we are moving to mitigate the mortality and the other is the predominantly foreign-owned, off-shore, high seas fleet which enjoys the benefit of the conservation measures implemented by the region. Perhaps there needs to be a more equitable arrangement."

Maurice Brownjohn says the PNA annual general meeting will be held next week.