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Pacific nations aim to resolve US default on 89m tuna treaty

21 Jan 2016, FFA HQ SOLOMON ISLANDS – Impacts and projections, revenues and losses are words that will feature heavily for the 17-member nations of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, FFA as they convene special sessions aimed at resolving the   default and withdrawal notice by the US on a tuna treaty that has allowed US access to tuna fishing in the Pacific for almost three decades.

Update on the Status of the Pacific Islands-US Treaty

The following is an explanatory Note on the Status as at 31 December 2015 of the Treaty between Pacific Island Countries and the United States of America, issued by FFA as the Treaty Administrator.

Thursday 31 December, 2015, FFA HQ Honiara SOLOMON ISLANDS -- In August 2015, the Parties to the Treaty reached an agreement regarding the conditions for access to Pacific Island Party (PIP) waters for 2016 and signed a “Statement of Intent” (SOI) that reflected this agreement. The SOI is an agreement between PIP Governments and the US Government, even though it describes obligations that fall to US vessel owners through the American Tunaboat Owners Association (ATA). In short, the SOI entails a total of 6,250 fishing days in the region, although this total is made up of several “pools” that relate to fishing in different areas. In return, the agreed industry payment, to be made through the ATA is USD 68,271,350. This total amount can be paid in quarterly instalments, with the first quarter due to be paid before the start of the year (1 January 2016). The ATA payment is in addition to an annual US Government contribution for economic assistance to the PIPs of USD 21 million. In November 2015, FFA as the administrator of the Treaty received advice from the US Government that US industry was unable to make the first quarterly payment.

Tuna buzz builds for Pacific nations to 12th WCPFC.

18th Nov 2015, FFA HQ, Honiara SOLOMON ISLANDS – South Pacific Albacore, High Seas and IUU fishing, Target and Limit Reference Points and Harvest Strategies linked to the Pacific’s Future of Fisheries Roadmap are just some of the tuna buzzwords as the region heads to the annual general session for the regional tuna commission, the WCPFC.

Also known as the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, the WCPFC brings the 17 member nations of the Forum Fisheries Agency, FFA to the negotiating and reporting table with the world’s major fishing nations. Following a series of technical, compliance and science meetings throughout the year, the WCPFC members, cooperating non-members, and observers, come together every December to track developments, updates and emerging trends in the Pacific tuna fishery. More importantly, they are charged with setting rules or Conservation and Management Measures for sustainable tuna fishing.

Fiji celebrates World Maritime Day 2015

Fiji celebrated World Maritime Day 2015 on 23 September at the Suva City Council foreshore with a march through the capital city, Suva led by the Fiji Naval Squadron and a career expo showing services provided by the industry locally.

This year, the World Maritime Day theme is, 'Maritime education and training'.  This theme 'was adopted to focus attention on the wider spectrum of maritime education and training, in particular its adequacy and quality, as the bedrock of a safe and secure shipping industry which needs to preserve the quality, practical skills and competence of qualified human resources, in order to ensure its sustainability.' (UN web)

More news on this celebration here.