One of the questions we need to ask re the PMIZ in Madang is whether it actually fulfils the objectives of the PNA (Partners to the Nauru Agreement) for Pacific tuna and marine life in general.
The PNA has been a singularly important conservation and mediation instrument for the countries who really jointly own the last free range tune in the South Pacific (indeed the world).
And the PMIZ will certainly exacerbate all this collateral damage to tuna by pretending PNG can monitor the boats for 10 foreign canneries!
PNA to implement FAD initiative Pohnpei Palikir, 12 June 2015: Another global first yesterday for the Parties to Nauru Agreement (PNA) when they passed an initiative to trial a charge of US$1,000 on each Fish Aggregating Device (FAD) set in PNA waters.
In what was dubbed the "free school initiative," Ministers at the annual PNA ministerial meeting in Federated States of Micronesia's capital Palikir, decided that a US$1,000 fee paid on top of the Vessel Day Scheme fee would be good incentive "not to set FADs" on free schools of fish.
PNA Chief Executive Officer Doctor Transform Aqorau said once again the Ministers and officials of the PNA member nations have shown great wisdom and resolve to come up with not only a global first but a first in the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) in fisheries management and sustainability.
"From January 2016 next year PNA member nations across the board will try out the new initiative to levy a fee of $1000 on each ship that sets FADs in a fishing day," Dr Aqorau said.
The decision in Pohnpei follows a PNA Ministerial endorsement to look into the possibility of such an initiative on FADs when they met in Tuvalu last year; something the host nation and Tokelau were particularly keen on."This is because they are two of the smallest and most vulnerable members of the PNA and fishing in their waters is very dependant on the use of FADs," he said.Currently FADs are managed in the region at a WCPFC level with a four month closure of FAD fishing which is aimed at primarily reducing juvenile Bigeye, juvenile Yellowfin and other bycatches that are taken during FAD use.As hard as the PNA will fight against illegal and unregistered fishing, against FADs attracting juvenile fish to commercial vessels, PNG has worked to undermine these objectives by allowing FADs for so-called PNG fisheries like RD Tuna.The Vessel Day Scheme, another great step forward by the PNA, has been completely voided by fishing vessels who simply turn off their GPS's and continue fishing without being recorded.Elsewhere the purse seiners get away with shrinking the size of their netting so they end up vacuuming up all kinds of bycatch.PNG talks about fighting this, but it has done very little.