The Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA) recently announced the signing of the PNA Nauru Agreement. This agreement is a major step towards sustainable fishing practices in the Pacific region, and it is expected to have a significant impact on the industry.
The PNA Nauru Agreement is a legally binding agreement between eight Pacific Island countries and territories: Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu. These countries have joined forces to manage their tuna fisheries in a sustainable manner, enhancing economic benefits for their people while promoting conservation and management of the region`s rich tuna resources.
The agreement aims to establish a framework for cooperation and coordination among the PNA members and to ensure the conservation and management of the region`s tuna stocks. It creates a zone of control around the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of the PNA countries, which covers an area of approximately 14 million square kilometers. The agreement also establishes a system of vessel day scheme (VDS) to manage the longline and purse seine fishing effort in the region.
Under the VDS, fishing vessels are allocated a specific number of fishing days that they can use in a given year, which limits fishing effort and ensures that the region`s tuna stocks are not overfished. The VDS also provides economic benefits for PNA members, as fishing days are sold to fishing vessels at a market price. This revenue is then used to fund conservation and management activities and support the development of local fishing industries.
The PNA Nauru Agreement has been widely recognized as a successful model for sustainable fisheries management, and it has led to significant benefits for the PNA members. Since the agreement`s inception, the catch of skipjack tuna has increased by almost 70%, and the average price per day of fishing has almost doubled. The PNA countries have also been able to secure more significant economic returns from their tuna resources than other countries in the region, which has contributed to the development of their local economies.
In conclusion, the PNA Nauru Agreement is a significant step towards sustainable fisheries management in the Pacific region. The agreement has already demonstrated its success, contributing to economic growth and ensuring the conservation and management of the region`s valuable tuna resources. With the continued support of PNA members and the international community, the PNA Nauru Agreement is expected to continue to provide significant benefits for years to come.