29 Mar 2016

PNA membership criteria considered at Kiribati meeting

3:38 pm on 29 March 2016

The Parties to the Nauru Agreement are expected to consider adding new members at their meeting this week in Kiribati.

CEO of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement, Transform Aqorau

CEO of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement, Transform Aqorau Photo: RNZ / Philippa Tolley

The meeting will review the PNA's Vessel Day Scheme, the United States fisheries treaty, start the selection of a new chief executive and establish a fisheries research programme to build capacity among the members.

The chief executive, Dr Transform Aqorau, said the PNA had shown the success of its Vessel Day Scheme -- where countries purchase a certain number of fishing days -- as a management tool, but there was a push from outside the body to move to a tonnage quota system, which would limit fishing countries to a weight of fish a year.

But Dr Aqorau said this was not suitable for the multi-species, multi-national nature of the PNA fishery.

He said the effort versus quota management issue was critical for the PNA leadership to discuss.

Dr Aqorau is expected to stand down after six years in the chief executive's role with the PNA to consider a shortlist of applicants.

There are also requests from other nations to join the PNA, with Tokelau the first.

Dr Aqorau said the meetings were likely to address the criteria for accepting new members into the body.

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