The fisheries ministers of the member countries of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) conducted a two-day meeting to tackle measures on conservation and management of their tuna fishery stocks at the Palasia Hotel in Koror, Palau on May 29-30.

Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment, and Tourism (MNRET) Fisheries Scientist Vanessa Jaith, in an interview with Island Times, said that the meeting provided opportunities for the parties to discuss their priorities and take stock of where they are in their fishery resources management.

The agenda discussed include the PNA Office budget, Strategic Plan, the 2020 Party Allowable Effort (PAE), an independent Chair for the PNA Compliance Committee, the purchase of Fisheries Information Management System (FIMS) from Quick Access, high seas bunkering, and Vanuatu’s request to join PNA’s Longline (LL) Vessel Day Scheme (VDS), among others.

Another goal of the meeting was to address the issues on foreign fishing fleets trying to access fish resources and make huge profits out of them with minimal returns to the states, Jaith said.

“That’s why they get together and they have a motto ‘cooperation through strength’. They recognize that they need to cooperate, together all of their individual potentials to manage fishery and they made incredible advances over the years,” Jaith added.

Jaith said that the PNA is now also working on stopping the bunkering in the high seas and also to discuss the PAE.

The PNA member countries are the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu.

Palau is currently holding the PNA chairmanship this year. (By Rhealyn C. Pojas)