Palau will host next year’s fisheries management meetings of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA).

The fisheries ministers from Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Tuvalu and Tokelau hold annual meetings to adopt policies affecting the multi-billion dollar western and central Pacific tuna fishery.

The meeting of the ministers according to PNA CEO Ludwig Kumoru is scheduled in May.

Last week, the PNA ministers including Palau’s Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Tourism Umiich Sengebau, met in Honolulu December 7, endorsing the organization’s new strategic plan and adopting their annual budget for 2019.

“The new strategic plan endorsed by the Ministers will guide PNA as we take our fisheries management program to the next level,” said   Kumoru.

It is the PNA leaders’ vision of a “ecologically sustainable fisheries, tightly controlled and managed through PNA cooperation generating diverse maximum economic and social benefits to the Parties.”

For 2019, PNA is expected to focus talks on electronic monitoring system which is being developed to address this gap in fisheries management.

Positions for the WCPFC will go for endorsement to PNA ministers this Friday in Honolulu.
PNA is also moving toward adoption of a new five-year strategic plan to guide its work, including addressing climate change impacts on the fishery.
“The new strategic plan is essential to the ongoing improvement and expansion of sustainable fisheries management and commercial opportunities for our islands,” said PNA Chief Executive Officer Ludwig Kumoru.

The new draft plan has been developed through a series of consultations the members during 2018, he said, adding that the five-year plan is moving to its final draft stage for presentation to government fisheries ministers for review and action.

The new strategic plan and focus on strengthening the PNA Office operation is essential to effective management of the tuna fishery in PNA waters, said Mr. Kumoru.

The draft presented to the PNA officials meeting Sunday in Honolulu will see PNA focus in three areas:

This year   PNA officials considered the development of a PNA E-Monitoring Program at a workshop in Honiara.

PNA Ministers are prioritizing the development of a PNA E-Monitoring Program. (Bernadette H. Carreon)

“The outcome of the one-day workshop in Honiara was substantive for E-Monitoring development,” said Eugene Pangelinan, Executive Director of the FSM’s National Oceanic Resource Management Authority.

Pangelinan  has said that The Nature Conservancy (TNC), which has been supporting E-Monitoring trials in the region and committed funding to assist development of an expanded program, while additional funding is also being sought.

Electronic Monitoring systems in fisheries use technology including video cameras, remote sensors, satellites, and hard drives installed on fishing boats to provide a range of information, including information on retained and discarded catch.

The Honiara workshop was funded by TNC and built on the progress made in an E-Monitoring trial in four PNA members — Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Solomon Islands — with TNC support.