LONGLINE fishing vessels will be the next issue Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) will be targeting to engage in the vessel day scheme (VDS) to generate more revenue for member nations as well as control tuna harvesting in the region.
Director of the organisation Dr Transform Aqorau highlighted this yesterday during his presentation at day one of the PNA organisation media training at Novotel hotel in Lami, Suva, Fiji.
He said currently, VDS focuses on purse-seiners where these vessels are buying days to fish in PNA waters.
Under this scheme, PNA sets a limit on the number of days purse-seiners can spend fishing in their (PNA) waters.
Each country has an allocation of days that can be sold and traded.
This raised revenue from fisheries from a few thousand a year to a minimum price per day of US$8000.00 (SBD$58, 000) per day.
In 2013, the total value of VDS was estimated at USD$240 million (SBD$1.8b).
He said so far three countries namely FSM, Nauru and Solomon Islands have signed for this new initiative to allow long-line boats to be part of the scheme.
Dr Aqorau said they need two more countries to sign up in order to have five countries to allow the scheme to be implemented.
He said there are more long-line boats operating in the region, so by having them engaged in this scheme will benefit member countries through revenue as well as control in the tuna harvesting.
“This is the next strategic step PNA is taking and this will be dominated by flagged state boats and in this way it would benefit the member countries through revenue as well as control of the tuna resources,” he said.
The PNA boss pointed out that it would take time to implement this new longline VDS but its a first step to take and work on it.
PNA has 8 members namely Palau, FSM, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Nauru, Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Tuvalu.
By MOFFAT MAMU
In Suva, FIJI