Honolulu 11 December 2018 — Ministers representing the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) members met in Honolulu December 7, endorsing the organization’s new strategic plan and adopting their annual budget for 2019.

   The meeting was chaired by Nauru's Deputy Minister for Fisheries, the Hon. Ranin Akua.

   PNA Ministers reviewed the draft strategic plan that was developed through a series of consultations with PNA officials during 2018. After a presentation of the draft and discussion about the various aspects of the strategic plan, Ministers endorsed the new plan, which will run from 2019 to 2025.

   “The new strategic plan endorsed by the Ministers will guide PNA as we take our fisheries management program to the next level,” said PNA CEO Ludwig Kumoru.

   The strategic plan states the PNA vision for the tuna fishery: “Ecologically sustainable fisheries, tightly controlled and managed through PNA cooperation generating diverse maximum economic and social benefits to the Parties.”

   The strategic plan is based on three core objectives — a stronger PNA, growing PNA influence on tropical tuna management, and PNA identifying and capturing additional opportunities. Each of these areas will be the subject of a new “business plan” to facilitate implementation.

    Mr. Kumoru said that he anticipates 2019 will focus on developing and beginning implementation of the business plans for each of the three priority areas of focus in the strategic plan.

   “The great strength of PNA is the speed with which it responds to emerging issues in the fishery,” Mr. Kumoru pointed out. “We will continue that under the new plan, while improving governance within the fishery and seeking to develop economic opportunities among our Parties.”

   After establishment of its office in Majuro in 2010, the PNA Office and the Parties were largely engaged in implementing the Vessel Day Scheme (VDS) to manage the purse seine fishery in their exclusive economic zones. Now that the VDS is established, PNA is refocusing its efforts to build on the strength of the VDS for ongoing sustainable management of the fishery. This includes a focus on strengthening governance within the PNA Office and the programs it manages for the Parties, including management and review of the VDS. Under its new plan, PNA also aims to identify and develop socio-economic opportunities throughout the fisheries value chain for the benefit of Parties.

   In addition to adopting the new strategic plan, PNA Ministers endorsed 2018 and 2019 annual budgets for the PNA Office in Majuro.

   After acting on the strategic plan and budgets for the PNA Office, the Ministers heard a report on the results of a workshop held in Honiara in late October to progress plans for expanding electronic monitoring of fishing fleets, focused on the longline industry. Because of the difficulty of placing fisheries observers on longline vessels, electronic monitoring is being developed to address this gap in fisheries management.

   Ministers were also briefed on key issues for the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission annual meeting taking place this week in Honolulu.