Majuro, Marshall Islands 26 July 2017: Parties to the Nauru Agreement Office (PNAO) in partnership with Papua New Guinea National Fisheries Authority and information management system service provider (QAC) ran a training and information workshop on the Vessel Day Scheme (VDS) and iFIMS (Integrated Fisheries Information Management System) in Manila on 19-21 July.

The workshop was titled “The Strategic Partnership: Way forward in VDS and iFIMS in managing our fisheries and our business in PNA.”

The workshop brought together representatives from all the fishing operators, both distant water fishing nations and domestically based within PNA countries, and several fisheries agencies’ representatives to participate and discuss the intent, operational procedures and challenges they face while implementing the VDS on the iFIMS.
This workshop was first of its kind since the VDS became the management tool for tuna fisheries in PNA waters. Industry spokesmen said during the workshop that iFIMS is a good tool for the management and operation of VDS and other aspects of tuna fisheries management and for illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing monitoring components of the fishery and PNAO functions — while also serving administration and management requirements of the industry’s fisheries and processing operations.
David Karis, who is the vessel monitoring system (VMS) manager for the National Fisheries Authority of Papua New Guinea, said partnering with industry is critically important. Agency people and government officials in their policy making need to ensure that “our strategic industry partners who in joint collaborative effort put value to the tuna resources are more informed of the smart technologies that we are researching into and incorporating into our work so they too see and appreciate the cost effectiveness and efficiency of systems like the iFIMS — that serves both the regulators (VMS and VDS administrators) and the industry, too. The more sustainable our fisheries is and our businesses feasible and cost efficient, we all will continue to gain from the tuna fishery.”

Mr. Karis pointed out that, “Sometimes, the industry has better technology or operational means that they might already have trialed and through a workshop such as this, we learn from each other to make things better for both our interests.”
PNAO VDS Manager Patricia Jack-Jossien stood in for PNAO Chief Executive Officer Ludwig Kumoru and PNA Chair Glen Joseph, who were unable to attend the session.
The workshop helped strengthen the partnership among the PNA Office, PNA members and industry to manage the fishery.
Industry participants indicated that this workshop was very fruitful and most attendees learned a lot on the mechanics and objectives of the iFIMS in the three days.
The workshop outcome report will be beneficial and value adding when promoted, discussed and accommodated in formal VDS and iFIMS technical working groups and committees and ultimately the officials’ plenary sessions.