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PNA Countries To Tighten VDS Scheme For Tuna Vessels Palau, March 4, 13

Last Friday Ministers of Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) member countries renewed their commitment to strictly implement the Vessel Day Scheme ( VDS ), as they inked the agreement during the ministerial meeting.

According to PNA Resolution 01-2013, ministers of Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, and Republic of the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu agreed to a strict implementation of the VDS scheme. This also refers to the “non-fishing days” and the “part days” that have been used by some countries.

The VDS is the system that is used to sustainably manage the world’s largest tuna fishery that is located in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean, by limiting the amount of days that tuna purse seiners can fish on tuna.

In 2013 the total allowable effort (TAE) within the PNA waters will be 45,284 fishing days, and the Pacific island nation Tokelau, which now will also start participating in the VDS system as a non–PNA member, with a national limit of 1,000 days. Making the total of 46,284 days managed under the VDS system.

As part of the agreement, the longline VDS scheme will be opened for signature for those parties that wish to participate immediately and that other parties will continue to work towards participation.

That strengthened implementation of the VDS and other agreed management measures should provide direct benefits to PNA countries individually and collectively as well as strengthening solidarity and cementing the role of the PNA as leaders in tuna management and conservation.