PNA Officials and FSM Leaders at the 43rd Meeting of the PNA

PNA officials convened on March 18, 2024, at the Chuuk State Government Conference for the 43rd PNA officials meeting. The event commenced with a warm welcome from the Honourable Alexander R. Narruhn, the Chuuk State Governor. It was followed by statements from the Federated States of Micronesia Vice President, the Honorable Aren B. Palik , and a brief statement from Permanent Secretary Christain Ramofafia of the Solomon Islands.

“This meeting, being the forty-third annual meeting of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement, is a significant milestone and achievement since the signing of the PNA Agreement in Nauru in 1982. After 42 years, it is an opportune time to reflect on our history, acknowledge our successes and failures, recognize the challenges we face, anticipate the future, and plan for better outcomes in the face of challenging economic conditions and climate change impacts on our tuna resources,” said Vice President Aren Palik.

During the meeting, the PNA Technical and Science Committees delved into VDS technical issues. As part of the review, the committee examined updates to the PNA Fisheries Information Management System (FIMS), which effectively monitors the fishing activities of PNA members in their Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ). This system enables fisheries management to keep track of fishing vessels’ locations and the number of days they spend fishing in their region. 

PNA Officials also received annual reports on the purse seine and longline VDSs.  The VDSs continue to operate effectively both in generating economic gains for PNA Members and ensuring the sustainability of regional tuna stocks and fisheries.  However, there are opportunities to strengthen these schemes to increase benefits and address risks to the effectiveness of the schemes, including climate change.   
Officials addressed the discussion on climate change, building on the discussions during the 3rd summit. The PNA Leaders agreed to proactively prepare for climate change adaptation and advocate for climate justice to address the damage caused to tuna fisheries, including preventing access to high seas fishing.

PNA leaders conveyed their serious concerns at the 3rd Summit 2023 regarding the disposal of treated radioactive wastewater into the Pacific Ocean. The main concern revolves around the possible consequences on the marine ecosystem, the well-being of individuals, and the market for tuna products. As a result, PNA43 considered approaches to monitor the fishery and other work being undertaken in the region for the same issue.

A series of meetings will continue in the coming days with essential issues, moving towards sustainable management of tuna resources in the region.