Bali, Indonesia 8 December 2015: The Parties to Nauru Agreement (PNA) says some members and small island nations like Tuvalu stand to suffer from various measures it has had to bargain away to distant water fishing nations in the name of consensus.
   Reacting to statements made by PNA member nation Tuvalu in Bali today, PNA Chief Executive Officer Dr Transform Aqorau said the treatment of the small island nation is a classic example of how big fishing nations mistreat their smaller counterparts in the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC).  
   Article 30 of the WCPFC Convention requires that management measures adopted by the Commission should not place a ‘disproportionate burden’ on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) members. 
   "As a Commission, we continue to allow disproportionate burden, yet we fail to actually come to some sort of reciprocation or give and take if you like," Dr Aqorau said.
   Tuvalu's Natural Resource Minister Pita Elisala said the tropical tuna measure on bigeye, skipjack and yellowfin tuna required a fourth month Fish Aggregating Device (FAD) closure which would place a large disproportionate burden on them. Tuvalu already observes a three month closure of FAD sets in its waters each year.
   "In exchange for carrying this burden, this year we sought additional controls on the longline fishery, which are the primary beneficiaries of bigeye conservation measures," Mr Elisala said.
   He said Tuvalu sought the following controls:
   • a prohibition on longline fishing on the high seas during the period of the FAD closure for vessels that do not land their catches in port;
   • a prohibition on the transshipment of frozen bigeye tuna at sea;
   • improved observer coverage and monitoring of longline vessels operating on the high seas.
   Mr Elisala said all these measures were intended to improve monitoring, control and surveillance of the high seas longline fishery, which was widely recognised as being out of control. 
   "In exchange, as part of PNA, we offered to tighten up the existing FAD restriction by introducing technical measures that would remove some of the loopholes that currently exist,” said Mr Elisala. “Sadly, DWFN member states refused to accept the most important longline fishery management measures that we proposed. At the same time, they tried to introduce additional restrictions on the use of FADs in the purse-seine skipjack fishery.” 
   Dr Aqorau said the PNA would continue to work on its FAD implementation within its purse seine fisheries with the proposed FAD charging which would allow nations like Tuvalu to remove the FAD closures.