Friday, 26 February 2010 8:58 AM

PNA Leaders Conclude With Historic Declaration

The historical and the first Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) Presidential Summit concluded yesterday with the adoption of the Koror Declaration.

Members to the PNA include leaders from Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu.

The eight leaders committed the PNA to joint efforts to increase the economic value and to derive greater benefits from their common tuna resources.

In the Koror Declaration the eight leaders have agreed:

. To effectively conserve and restore highly migratory stocks while maximizing economic returns and explore suitable arrangements for the Parties to control output and limit effort.

. To promote the greater commercial utilization of tuna resources for the benefit of the Parties, and to this end the "Vessel Day Scheme" as adopted for purse seine vessels is hereby confirmed;

. To close off additional high seas areas between 100N and 200S and 1700E and 1400W in the western and central Pacific by prohibiting purse seine vessels licensed by the Parties from operating in such waters;

. To initiate management practices that will enhance commercial and economic opportunities for the Parties through optimum utilization of the tuna fishery; and

. To proceed with the full assessment for certification of the skipjack fishery to increase the value of the tuna resource.

PNA leaders agreed that a combined effort is needed would lead to the reduction of efforts in the high seas, protecting the fast depleting big eye and yellow fin tuna.

The PNA, has been dubbed 'OPEC for tuna' because it aims to control access to tuna in its waters and so increase economic benefits for Pacific Islanders. PNA waters supply around 25% of the world's supply of tuna.

Prime Minister Hon Dr Derek Sikua led the Solomon Islands Delegation to the 1st PNA Leaders' Summit.

Dr Sikua and his delegation departed Palau yesterday for Brussels for the 3rd Political Dialogue between the European Union and Solomon Islands.

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