The Solomon Islands has taken up the Chairmanship of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) grouping from Palau for this year.

Former PNA chair, Nanette Malsol from Palau officially handed over the chairmanship during a meeting over the weekend to Dr Christian Ramofafia of the Solomon Islands who is also the Permanent Secretary of Solomon Islands Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources.

During the meeting, member nations of the Parties to the PNA have agreed to implement a new benchmark fee under the Vessel Day Scheme (VDS).

Dr. Christian Ramofafia, the new PNA Chair said that officials, during the 32nd Annual Meeting of the PNA in Palau, decided to increase the current VDS minimum fee for fishing vessels from $5,500 to $6,500 per day to fish in their waters. The new fee will be implemented by 2014.

“Yes we have agreed on a lot of issues, one is the minimum benchmark fee that is on 2014,” Ramofafia stated. “I think that is one of the key outcomes for VDS.”

Although the VDS implementation has suffered setback with some of the member parties exceeding the allocated fishing days, Ramofafia said in this year’s annual meeting, the officials have made commitments to stick to the rules this year and the coming years.

The eight PNA countries that include the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Republic of Marshal Islands, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Palau, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu established the VDS in 2007.

The VDS is a system that is used to sustainably manage the world’s largest tuna fishery, located in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean.


Source: Press Release, Government Communications Unit, Honiara