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The major tuna stocks in the waters of the members of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) are found to be healthy and not overfished as revealed in the communique signed during the conclusion of the 14th annual PNA ministerial meeting held in Palau on May 31.

Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment, and Tourism (MNRET) Fisheries Scientist Vanessa Jaith told Island Times that the major tuna stock assessments was conducted by the Pacific Community (SPC) in 2016 for the Skipjack, 2017 for the Yellowfin and Bigeye, and 2018 for Albacore.

The ministers and other senior officials of PNA member states namely the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu including Tokelau, which has as an observer status, had all welcomed the scientific advice based on the SPC major tuna stock assessment but had emphasized that they should not be complacent about the result as most stocks in the region are still declining.

The ministers and other participating senior officials had reiterated the need to ensure sustainability of the regional tuna stocks.

“Ministers agreed that there is no room for complacency about this outcome. Most stocks are still declining, there are weaknesses in the regional management arrangements and strengthening of the management arrangements continues to be necessary,” the signed statement read. (By Rhealyn C. Pojas)