Tuesday, 23 February 2010 11:54 AM

We Must Get More for Our Tuna: PM Sikua

The Prime Minister says Solomon Islands must receive maximum benefits from its tuna resources.

Dr Derek Sikua made the statement in Honiara ahead of the first Summit of the leaders of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement, PNA, scheduled for this Thursday in Palau.

Dr Sikua said Solomon Islands should have been receiving maximum benefits from its tuna industry in the 1970s, but the reverse had been the case.

Prime Minister Sikua said he will inform PNA member countries of his government's aim to get a bigger portion of earnings for its tuna resources.

Tuna is Solomon Islands' most important natural resource, although it gains little from the 29 billion Solomon Islands dollars generated annually within the industry.

The Parties to the Nauru Agreement, or PNA, countries are establishing their own secretariat in the Marshall Islands.

The Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu, all members of the PNA, voted late last year to set up a secretariat in Majuro.

Meanwhile, Dr Sikua said that Solomon Islands maintain its support for the Honiara-based Forum Fisheries Agency.

The Agency is a regional organization formed by the Pacific Islands Forum to administer and oversee foreign countries with fishing licenses to fish in the members countries' exclusive economic zones.

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