PNA sends out strong tuna message

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BY ELLISON.T.VAHI

THE PNA is sending a strong message of their commitment to conserving and managing tuna resources, while increasing economic benefits for the nine islands in the western and central Pacific that use the globally-recognised “Vessel Day Scheme” (VDS) to manage their fishery.

The Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) controls the world’s largest sustainable tuna purse seine fishery.

PNA members are Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

Global leaders in tuna conservation and management, many PNA conservation measures are world firsts such as high seas closures to fishing, controls on Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs), protection for whale, sharks and the 100 percent coverage of purse seine fishing vessels with observers.

No dolphins are caught in PNA waters and the PNA is actively involved in limiting bycatch of other species.

In 2011, the PNA skipjack tuna caught without using FADs was certified by the Marine Stewardship Council as sustainable, creating the world’s largest sustainable tuna purse seine fishery.

PNA controls around 50 percent of the global supply of skipjack tuna, the most commonly canned tuna.

The focus of PNA efforts to sustainably manage tuna is the Vessel Day Scheme (VDS).

PNA members agree on a limited number of fishing days for the year, based on scientific advice about the status of the tuna stocks.

Fishing days are then allocated by country and sold to the highest bidder. In this way, Pacific Islanders reap economic benefits from their sustainable management of tuna.

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